Totally agree with marc_j. And name me one bit of software which was full-featured (everything the community wants) and bug free within 6 months of launching 1.0? It’s utopia. It looks to me like they kind of use Google approach, release early and release often. At the moment new versions appear fortnightly, that’s much better than most packages I’ve worked with. A lot of people compare this with osCommerce and that has ground to a halt for years.
Magento needs to be taken for what it is. It is a frigging platform. P-l-a-t-f-o-r-m. A platform is something fundamentally great you take, and with your own skills you make it do what you need. It’s like when you build a house and other people put the foundation, gas pipes, access roads and electricity in place. You can’t live in it yet, you need to build the house to your specs.
Magento probably isn’t for sub 100K turnover indeed, not yet until someone’s builds a ready-to-deploy basic house (like those Ikea boxes) on top of the platform. But for serious people with development teams and a budget, Magento is perfect. I am taking this platform, doing the official training and will spend weeks making it do what I want to. That’s not weeks spent because it lacks. That’s weeks spent because of what I want and need it to do.
So it’s safe to say that without extensive PHP knowledge and e-commerce fundamental experience, you will not got the most out of Magento and will find it frustrating. That’s a criticism to the user, not to Magento.
If you need another analogy, see it liking having driven a Fiat Punto for the last 8 years and getting a Ferrari for your birthday. The step up is tricky, driving V8s isn’t for everybody. You simply need to know what you are doing. If you’re not comfortable with it, don’t sell your Punto just yet.
And of course, PayPal isn’t a small time service as a whole, but the per-button shopping cart idea with hosted checkout is. That’s a copy-paste shop you can achieve without server side scripting. So yes, that part of it is small-time.
Even though it’s free, I see it as an investment which needs taking care of so it turns into big profits. It really is a platform for the future. It will guarantee my future.