Ah, younger brother's. Always thinking you've got everything figured out.
There are a number of reasons why, (at least here in ontario) we rent.
1) Our water is incredibly hard. Even with a softener, most tanks only last 8 to 10 years. The company I work for changes out ~10 per week, and 90% of them are of this vintage.
2) Crap is more expensive here. A quality 50 gallon, natural gas, power vented tank, would cost around $2300 PLUS TAX to have installed. Once the government gets paid, that's $2600 out of pocket.
3) Canadians love credit. Even more than you do. The non-mortgage debt load of the average Canadian is $26,000. We hate paying for stuff out right. Ok, the last comment was presumptuous, but the $26k is legit. The average Joe just doesn't have the dough to pay cash.
So there it is. $2600 amortized over 10 years is just over $21 per month. And in just 6 to 8 years, the warranty is already over. The rental payment covers 100% of all repairs, and emergency replacement if the thing fails. We're ok with that.
Let me know if you need me to score you a fake ID, get you into the strip club, or run interference with the old man. Luv ya brother!