It's a compromise in an enthusiast sport.
I dislike them personally because they are basically a worse-equipped road bike. You get a crank that is often just plain riveted steel, with a steel seatpost, and a shitty freewheel. Most entry-level road bikes at least come with cassettes/rebuildable cranks.
Yet somehow the hybrid ends up costing about the same.
Often they're loaded down with useless "features" like a "suspension seatpost" that breaks almost immediately and either makes mounting/dismounting difficult, or puts the rider at the wrong leg height and causes joint pain.
To "Fix" this, bike shops sell these heavy "adjustable" headsets (really there's only one setting anyone uses: All the way up, or else they would just have been happy with the stock stem.) The bike was never meant to be ridden this way. The seat is now uncomfortable. They buy a gel cover. It now chafes, or still has the rider too far forward- plus, there isn't enough rake/trail on the frame and fork, nor weight on the palms to keep the inherently unstable but "nimble" flat bar hybrid straight without constant nervous adjustments made to the steering.
The rider's naturally uncomfortable if they're riding it and are either out of shape or with a backpack and ANY cargo.
At least uprights (e.g., old Raleigh Sports/Tourists) were relatively stable, if a little heavy and let down by their steel components. (Upgrade some of those parts to Alloy, and you've got a pretty serious commuter that knocks the socks off a Pashley.)
They're made of really poor materials on the low end (keep an eye out for hi-ten steel of such low grade that even an old Raleigh Sports would gawk), and at the mid-end they pursue lightness at the expense of rider comfort, choosing parts out of a bin for cheapness and lightness rather than quality.
Someone please inform these brands that you can make something comfortable that isn't a complete and total boat anchor that's over 15kg stock.