I would think for the most part, cans were symbolic of the BMC beers, while bottles represented more of a craft beer feeling of quality. Breweries like Surly have been breaking through that stigma. Admittedly, bottles are more elegant IMHO.
Strangely, I've never had that mentality with Guinness draught widget cans.
Here in Italy, the mentality
is that small bottles tend to be lower quality beer and 750 ml champagne bottles are higher quality beer. That's not to say you don't find 33cl Chimay's, Leffes, etc, but for maketing it seems to be the case. Most of the artisanal beers I see here are in 750ml's and most mass produced beers are smaller sizes like 0.5l and 33cl.
The light factor gives cans an advantage. But yeah, I can't re-use cans for homebrewing. Ultimately, I pour mine into a glass too, so as long as it's good beer ...
Although can's aren't nearly as helpful in a bar fight.