But all transactions imply a vendor providing a product. [..] Does the system record and link the record of my bitcoin spend to the product I'm buying? If so, how?
Not all of them. If I pay the kid across my street to mow my lawn, I would hardly say he's a 'vendor.' In any case, if there's a chargeback, he's not going to have a paper trail to prove that he mowed my lawn - it's just going to be my word against his. It's not clear how chargebacks protect people in this case. If the arbitrator generally finds in favor of buyers, it hurts the kid across the street when he really did the work. If the arbitrator generally finds in favor of sellers, it hurts me when I pay and the work doesn't actually get done. If the arbitrator tries to decide who's more trustworthy, it's pretty much going to be a crapshoot.
How do credit cards deal with this situation? They don't. They never give the neighbor's kid the ability to open a merchant account.
How can I be sure I will receive the product I purchased in a timely fashion (or at all)? Why wouldn't the vendor just keep my bitcoin and tell me to get lost?
Credit cards might guarantee that you receive a product, and maybe even ensure that the product is as described. However, they don't guarantee that the product is any good. If you're buying music or a game, it's hard to see how a credit card company could decide something so subjective. How do you find out whether a game or piece of music is good? Reputation. We're just taking reputation one step further.
Consumers use credit cards BECAUSE they are protected against such ripoffs via chargeback and other rules.
Bitcoin escrow/arbitration services do exist, though you must agree to use them before the transaction in question, making them an opt-in rather than opt-out system. Given that there's no stampede of customers towards those escrow services, that suggests that most customers don't care about escrow, and most of them only use arbitrated systems because of the hassle of switching.
Are we talking about 'caveat emptor' aka let the buyer beware?
Yes, we are.