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From a functional/practical stand point I think there are many instances where carbon forks do not make sense (e.g., commuter bikes), but manufactures include them because of the public perception out there (which ironically manufacturers helped create). For most regular bikes, I think a steel fork is a more sensible choice: It typically offers a compliant ride and is more robust to physical damage than carbon; but many would view a steel fork as a step backwards simply because steel is colloquially viewed as an «old» material.