No doubt the publishers mean well. Supposedly they are trying to make a book look less intimidating, and more “user-friendly.” No doubt there are a (very!) few people out there who want to look up Hebrew and Greek words in their English transliterations, and thus do language study without knowing the language. But the rest of us fall into two categories: those who do not know Hebrew and Greek, and would skip over discussions of the original language, transliterated or not; and those of us who do know Hebrew and Greek, to which transliteration is a pain in the neck, because we always have to “back-translate” the transliteration into the original letters to know which word we are talking about.
I could be wrong about my impression, but it seems to me that there are very few people in the first category (people who don’t know the languages but still want to do word studies in transliteration). We are moving (and have significantly moved) away from being a word-based culture to being a visual-based culture. Interest in grammar and words is therefore on the decline, except in such areas as speech-act theory. Those who really want to do word studies are going the whole hog and learning the language.
One of most ludicrous examples of transliteration is the Yale Anchor Bible commentary series. This is one of the most scholarly, most technical series out there, and they always have Greek and Hebrew words transliterated! There may have been a time early in its history when it was more geared towards the laity. However, under the editorship of Freedman, the series as a whole has become one of the most scholarly series on offer. Why in the world, then, does it retain transliteration? This makes absolutely no sense to me. It only slows the scholar down, and most normal people who don’t know the languages will simply skip it anyway. There is no reason to keep transliteration anymore.