[steps up on soap box...]
I read the interview with Jeffery Veen and while I sure don't agree with all points he makes, the parts where he talks about the cost and effort of implementing a CMS I believe you have to consider how he defines CMS.
Traditionally a CMS stands for Content Management System, no news there, but note that there is no 'Web' in that phrase. That's because a CMS from the traditional definition handles all types of content from all types of sources and makes it available in a variety of interfaces, human & machine.
Put in that context, where the specification probably includes version control of documents on one fileserver, extracting data from an ERP system, recieving data from an order system and so on, all while giving access to all this data in for example a portal on an intranet/extranet and passing some of the data onwards to a subcontractors machine on the other side of town...
Then heck yes!
It's very often immensly complicated & expensive to implement as well as to actually buy the right CMS. Do note that we are talking of commercial applications such as Documentum, Vignette, MS CMS and so on where the price tag starts at $50 K and upwards.
The majority of CMS out there that a small web-business or similar implement actually falls into the WCM range, Web Content Management. Here we are talking of a human interface where person(s) import or write content, add images/pages and whatnot.
In the other end it provides access to this content through a limited set of interfaces, such as browser, wap, pda, rss, soap and so on.
This is a powerful tool and it can offer a lot of functionality, no doubt, but there is a difference from a "real CMS", and it should be. It's 2 different types of applications with some similar functionality.
However, I feel that the point that needs to be made for that article is the fact that it is much more a question of installing & configuring the right type of CMS than wether a CMS is a bloated expensive overvalued tool for most companies.
Personally I don't think you will survive very long or manage to grow if you can't offer a simple way for the client to online manage their own content as the see fit, when they see fit.
[steps down from soap box...]