It's 2013 - why is it still impossible to change a Gmail address?

I have a friend who was married a year ago. She legally changed her last name to that of her husband, but it's impossible to change her email address. She buys a lot of Android apps, and would lose those purchases if she switched to another account.

I have another friend who set up his Gmail account when he was a teenager, and used a stupid-sounding nickname. Now he's older, entering the job market, and worried that his email address makes him look unprofessional. He actually set up a new account and went through the painful process of switching everything over. (He's also an Android user, but luckily he's only purchased a few apps.)

Can we just take a moment to reflect on how ridiculous this is? I'm sure there are lots of people who face similar problems. The problem of wanting to change your email address after marriage/divorce, in particular, is probably one that affects a lot of people. Google clearly you wants to set up an account and use it basically throughout the course of your life, but they don't allow your email address to change in response to changing life circumstances.

Yes, I realise there are certain hacks that you can use to get around this. You can probably move data between accounts using Google Takeout (although, crucially, paid purchases you have made through Google Play are bound to your original account). Alternatively, you could probably create a new email address and set it up to forward all email to your old one, but people would still have to use your old Gmail account for other forms of communication such as Google+ and Google Hangouts.

More importantly, you shouldn't have to use a hack to solve this. Google should recognise that it's a problem for at least some of its users, and provide an officially supported method of solving it.