I agree that Drupal is huge, the learning curve is huge, maintenance can be huge. But the benefits are also huge. After some initial struggling, extensive time at drupal.org, clicking around in the admin pages, I’m now able to install and configure an environment in minutes. Enabling and configuring familiar modules goes quickly. Enabling and configuring new modules restarts the learning curve.
One needs to understand that the core is fairly consistent and it’s well built. Once that core is understood you’re doing well. Each module however is written by a different person with varying levels of competence. Some module authors are real amateurs who write crappy code and lose interest quickly. You need to be prepared for modules not getting updating with each update of the core, some modules will break, you’ll need to deprecate some functionality or swap for something new.
Drupal is a really great package and worth your time in the long run, though yes it is a huge challenge to start. You need to be versatile, not assume everything is going to remain static. Run updates once per week or so to ensure everything is up to date - and prepare for things to break. Your users may have a low tolerance for such things. The ideal situation is to try new updates in a separate environment. That’s honestly not tough to do, but more than some site admins are prepared to do.
Also note that Drupal is remarkably slow on a DH shared host. It doesn’t crawl but it’s not a speed demon either. You need to disable modules to improve performance - the balance is determining what you need versus what you want, and what kind of performance penalty you’ll pay for what’s running. I don’t know if PS is a solution to performance - or if there are any PHP tuning options to help. It might be worth it to some site admins to contract someone with expertise in this area. And that brings us to…
Underlying all of this is the spirit of Free and Open Source Software. You are “free” to make code changes yourself. You are “free” to learn how it all works to maintain your own environment. You are “free” to hire someone to make changes for you, including module authors. “Free” software comes at a high price of your time and possibly your money, as you get the software for “free” but your money is then spent to make it work as you need. That’s the game. Or as one of my friends says “FOSS is only free if your time is worthless.”