Microsoft has released a short video documentary that walks you through the various elements of the Xbox Elite Wireless Controller. They cover everything from the programmable buttons, the new hair triggers, and why the flappy paddles on the bottom of the controller help make the controller better than your standard controller (they don't require you to move your thumbs off the controls).
The only thing the video does is tell your significant other why you need to spend $150 on a new controller. The only one that I could come up with is that the thing is built like a tank and it means you won't need a replacement controller any time soon. If you've got any other reasons be sure to leave them in the comments.