However, while the metric system is many things, 'awkward and unnatural' isn't one of them. You look up 'awkward' in the dictionary and there's the Imperial system. 5280 feet in a mile? 16 ounces in a pound? Water freezes at 32 degrees?
The units you actually need to convert between tend to be related by either powers of 2 or multiples of 12, which are extremely convenient when working with fractions. The SI system is designed instead to be convenient when working with decimal numbers.
In science and engineering, decimals are more common and SI is more useful. But then, SI is more useful in science and engineering anyway because the scientific units in SI are sane, as opposed to the Imperial scientific units -- where they exist. Don't complain about 5280 feet in a mile. Nobody really converts feet to miles. But units like horsepower are just a headache. Fortunately, scientists have it easy -- they just use SI. (Engineers are boned. Sorry.) And being familiar with Imperial units doesn't hurt them -- scientists work mostly in weird units that you don't develop familiarity with anyway.
Now, in construction and manufacturing, it's common to use fractions, and they use Imperial. This is where the real cost of any kind of "switch" to metric comes in -- there's a whole set of manufacturing standards that are specified in Imperial units. You can't just convert them to "metric equivalents" with any reasonable degree of accuracy. And transitioning to metric manufacturing is pointless, expensive, and downright stupid.
Water freezes at 32 degrees?
It doesn't really matter what number water freezes at. It's arbitrary. Most users of Imperial units remember that 32 is freezing. If they're clever, they also remember that 37 is roughly the air temperature where there could be ice on the ground. But the freezing and boiling points of water rarely are useful in real life. Do you know the freezing and boiling points of other substances in Celcius?
Really, the stupid temperature systems are the ones that don't have 0 as absolute zero.