Same OS, same install (Archlinux on a Lenovo W520, using fluxbox as a window manager with slim for a login)
Boot time with initd setup: 14-20 seconds for full environment
Boot time with systemd setup: 3-7 seconds
Number of times I boot my machine: 2-3 times per day, including weekends. So, since I converted, I could be saving up to 79 hours a year in boot times.
I'll take an additional ounce of complexity for those gains.
Converted a server, with a very long POST time, over to systemd as well. It cut boot time down from 4 minutes to all services being up and running to one minute and 20 seconds. If you're working with a system that reboots often, that's a big gain in overall availability. I'd hardly call the thing bloated if it makes better utilization of system resources than its predecessor.
You see, I don't know if you're aware of this, but most computers have multiple processor cores in them now. Running from a script implies serialized code. Running and booting from a database implies threading. Systemd is designed to work with modern systems, but hey, if you're still on a pre-dual-core setup, then more power to you.
Oh, I guess you've also never worked in an environment where httpd frequently logs more than 30GB in a day. I like awk as much as the next admin, but being able to run a query and get targeted data from the deamon itself in less than a second's processing time is a HUGE gain.
Yup, certainly no reason to design it THAT way. . .