1) "If they understood that better" is meaningless. I build systems to meet requirements and demands, not the other way around. Most businesses operate the same way.
I would agree. My point was that people compare a simple IMAP/calendaring solution with Exchnage and think that it competes on the same level. If all you need or want is that, then great, go for it. If you want more, there's nothing else out there that compares.
2) Starting with Exchange 2010, things have gotten far too complex just for the sake of complexity, and with little benefit (and definitely less benefit than the increased requirements justify). This is especially true in smaller implementations, where a small business doesn't need a minimum of four different servers (or two really beefy ones) just to do their email, tasklists, and calendaring.
I wouldn't disagree with that either, although what constitutes a beefy server is not an exact science, and with VM's, not that difficult to deal with. Keep in mind that most of Microsoft's recommendations for minimum specs on these sort of things, and Exchange in particular, far exceed the sort of numbers you'd be looking at with most small businesses. The real complication with 2010 as I see it is that the old style clustering is no longer supported, making a simple failover pair a pain in the arse. But, the hosted services can serve as a backup in that situation, and for many small business, hosted services may be all they need at all.