The bit in bold, I have to disagree with this. While you are right in principal as it is "just a case of hitting add article" or "edit article" from the article list. That doesn't make it user friendly though and from my experience most users find it very confusing and overwhelming. That first impression then sticks.
The biggest problem with the Joomla UI, as I see it is that there is too much going on in the cms, way too many options and most average, non technical, users I come into contact find that overwhelming. They want a simpler interface, all the extra stuff should be hidden away until needed.
Another thing is the language, I mean this:
Click on the "add article" button to ... well, add an article (or "page" if you'd rather think of it that way).
That is a big usability no-no. A static page, such as your about page, isn't an article. That to end users is often confusing as when you say "article" they consider something akin to a "news article", when you say "the about page" they consider a "page" and expect those two things to be different and inherently they are. Even if under the hood, the code base, treats them the same, from the users perspective they should be different, even if it's just an alternative view to the same system.
Implying that the user is stupid if they don't get it or feel overwhelmed (I know you did it jokingly but the feeling that they are just stupid is clearly there) is not the answer to the problem, its discarding the problem or trying to make out like there isn't one.
Essentially what you've said is, "It's not that the system that's got a bad design, its that you are too stupid to use it".
Now if we were talking about a technical system or a feature of the system that is essentially technical or "advanced" then it's ok for it to require some "getting to grips with", but when its something as elementary as adding an article or a "page" then it's a problem if it requires anything more than a couple of minutes to get your head around (of course more advanced features of publishing are another thing, I mean the ability to simply publish an article or a page).
Taking Joomla's article system in a bit more detail, some of the things I find users struggle with are:
- Article/Page (whats the difference), their first reaction is one of
User: "I want to add a page"
Me: "You use the article system"
User: "No I want to add a page, not a news article, like my about page"
Me: "They are the same thing in Joomla, you create the page 'as an article'"
User: "Thats confusing, how do I know the difference between my news articles and pages"
... conversation goes on, explaining how it works, user ends up feeling kind of overwhelmed and feels like the system "does it in a silly way" ...
When on the lists and editors they find them overwhelming, there are far too many options right in the users face. They literally just want to select a category or menu to place the page/article under, enter a title, meta data and the content body. Then select a publish option (i.e. publish, unpublish, embargo date) and hit go. Instead they have a mass of information in front of them and don't know where to look. Added to that, the UI looks very technical so they feel its all "very technical".
They get a bit confused over how and where their article will be indexed and how to index it to a menu or a category.
These are things WP do really well and why WP is known to be easy to use, the editor itself and the indexing system is really straight forward so the end user can see at a glance what they need to do.
A better approach with all the extra bits of info and features on Joomla would be to tabulate the form, structure the menu and flow in a simpler way, or have an "advanced options" button or even expandable blocks on the forms. That way all the confusing stuff is hidden away and the end user will feel more comfortable.
When it comes to indexing an article or page, most just want to create their categories and manage their category structure separately to everything else, then either select a category and "add article" or have some kind of category tree on the editor which says "select the categories you want to index this article under" or words to those effect.
Then a few navigation options, such as an option to include a page in the main navigation along with navigation title and placement; maybe a seperate manager on top of that to reorder the main menu on the fly.
Joomla does all that, but not in a very coherent way.