If it helps, I am about two months short of a degree in Interior Design and I've only ever seen a lack of overhead lights of some kind in cheap new construction - apartment buildings, or neighborhoods built on spec. I guess when you're building a lot of units at once, those fixtures can really add up.
I like the option. I may still need lamps and things for reading and other close work, but the option of an overhead light seems like a necessity. A lot of people don't care about ambient lighting or lighting for visual impact, they want to flip a switch a light a room. I would venture that most people fall under this category.
Of course, I also live where it's hot and most rooms have a ceiling fan, so I suppose the thought process is...might as well stick a light on it. Here, it would be considered very very unusual for a room not to have some kind of overhead lighting. It might be recessed or on a dimmer switch, but there would be something.