Does Google need to stay in the hardware game?

Google's Nexus program has gone through a lot of changes. While never officially assigning a purpose to it, Google has suggested that Nexus devices came about as a way to get hardware with "pure" Android into the hands of developers. Official APIs and documentation, as well as unlockable boot loaders made it the phone to buy for both tinkerers and application developers alike.

We've watched things change, though. We've seen the prices drop dramatically, and seen them rise quickly. We've seen top-shelf hardware, as well as specs that are a bit older, as well as one-of-a-kind (so far) things like 64-bit processors. While nobody from Mountain View has said anything, pretty much every hardcore Android enthusiast now thinks that Nexus is a consumer brand. We certainly do.

So this brings our question for the week. Do we really still need a Nexus program? Google Play edition devices and emulators could serve as "pure" Android for application development, and there are plenty of options when it comes to unlockabe boot loaders for folks who like to roll-their-own Android.

Answer the poll, then discuss in the comments!