@Nick Well, you're absolutely right about U2.
But the idea that Bruce Springsteen "had no other options available"
is obviously not true for Springsteen's Nebraska.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nebraska_(album) ; nor Odd Nosdam to use
his Portastudio in 1999; for John Vanderslice to devote an entire
album to his (Life and Death of an American Fourtracker) in 2001; and
for John Darnielle's love for his Panasonic RX-FT500 through 2001.
More info on JD here in http://www.themountaingoats.net/faq.html and
this 2002 review in Pitchfork
I am among many who finds that the use of "hissy" cassettes adds an
inextricable tension and ineffable quality to the recordings of
artists like Daniel Johnston and Jandek.
Check out Little Wings' Light Green Leaves interesting use of format:
It's also worth noting that some artists (most obviously Boards of
Canada) bounce between cassette tapes to achieve (not eliminate) wow
and flutter. The CD version of Autechre's Tri Repetae linear notes
state "incomplete without surface noise".
Take a moment to consider that the fragility, lo-fidelity, and unique
intimacy of tapes along with the labor involved in listening to them
might just be the point of a cassette release.