but still hasn't succeeded in making the difficult easy
I'll meet you half-way and suggest that in Windows, it's easier to get something going initially, but in Linux it's easier to make detailed and significant changes later on.
As for Windows admins wishing they had Linux, I've met a few Win admins and they generally consider interest in Linux to be something of a "phase", one which you grow out once you gain enough experience at what actually happens in corporate setup and why Exchange is so widely used (hint: it's fucking awesome how much capability it provides compared to a scattering of similar tools and services in Linux).
My experience is that it seems like Windows admins who worked with Linux (or proprietary Unix) still prefer it but "put up with" IIS when they have to use it due to corporate policy. The admins who grew up on Windows and dabbled with Linux end up back on Windows. The main thing for me is that Linux is easier to troubleshoot since I don't have to go digging for some obscure registry entry that some program messed with and ended up breaking something else. Whoever came up with the registry should be taken out and shot (or have some suitably painful means of execution; shooting might be to easy for them).
I'll grant you that exchange is a pretty amazing tool. Way back when there used to be some competing products (just like there used to be competing word processors and spreadsheets, etc.). They all got plowed under by the Windows/Microsoft Office jugernaught. Now, the only "competition" comes from open source projects that just don't seem to have the understand of the big corporate world. I'm working as a Unix Engineer in a big big telco at the moment and the level of integration (aka, lockin) to Windows as the corporate desktop is amazing and, at the same time, horribly stupefying. I end up using an X emulator under Windows to do my work slowly and painfully when I would easily be twice as productive with a Linux box but that's not the corporate standard.