Well, you live and learn! I've never been in a house which didn't have a kettle, unless it had just broken and someone had been sent out urgently to get a new one (-: I sort of think of it in the "utterly standard" list of things such as toasters, or door bells, or loo rolls.
But it's not just for making tea - if I want to cook, say, rice, or pasta, or anything which needs boiling water, I'd always use the kettle. It's much quicker to boil the kettle than wait for it to heat up on the hob.
I've only ever cooked on electric stoves in rented ski-ing flats in France. You do get electric hobs here, but I'd say gas is far, far more standard. The only houses here which don't have gas are usually the ones in the arse end of nowhere - like my parents' house. And they have bottled gas for their stove. But I reckon the standard (and considered better) method of cooking-and-hot-water-and-central-heating here is gas. Cheaper, too.