I too am suspicious about the quick adoption of the Upstart init system in Ubuntu. (^W^W^W oops this article is about something else?)
Upstart is an Ubuntu-Only-ism, yet lots of people are using Ubuntu, and many times they are even on current/supported releases!
Upstart is not tested / does not work with many emerging technologies, such as Docker. We should all rally together against Upstart!
Seriously, I am not sure which side I should be on. I use Ubuntu with Docker and I've become a fan of baseimage-docker, which leveraged the "runit" system of managing service processes. It's braindead simple and totally transparent. After a couple of weeks using it occasionally, I feel like I can know it inside and out as a system that provides a level of clarity and transparency that I never had with Upstart, and don't get yet with Systemd. I am writing my own init "run" scripts and touching the binaries with my bare hands, and I don't mind.
Then outside of Docker, where Upstart works, I am letting the package maintainers handle this for me, and outside of the occasional "/etc/init.d/foo is a no-op and doesn't tell me so when I try to use it", everything works as I expect and I'm never touching inits at all. It's too cumbersome. Systemd, for the little bit that I've used it seems to me like a marginal improvement over that. There are a lot of keywords and config file directives to master. There is potential that these inits could be ported into a docker container with no additional keystrokes, since systemd itself is able to run in those container/protected environments. Great!