Dishes are an inevitable part of life. We eat. Then we eat again, and again, and again. And unless you eat out three times a day, or use paper plates in your house daily for every meal (or you eat a meal over the sink, which I have been known to do on occasion when the Sailor is not home) then you need to do the dishes at some point.
Modern conveniences mean many of us in the Western world simply rinse the dishes and load the dishwasher. Unless you have a grimy pot, no elbow grease is required.
I've never had a dishwasher in my life. I'm not sure I ever want one. I'm one of those people who doesn't mind doing the dishes. To me, it's always been part of the whole 'cook it, then clean it up' process.
To make the process more enjoyable, I employ good soap (always natural -- I have a weird allergy to any type of blue dish soap and many green ones) and I like to use fun sponges or dishcloths to clean up.
I had quite a bit of yarn leftover from the Bullion Beach Blanket, so I whipped up some basic garter stitch dishcloths and crocheted tawashis -- perfect for scrubbing.
Recently, I gave a few to a friend as a gift. I smiled, as I did the dishes at her house, using the bright green dishcloth to clean the counter.