So, at lunch I was reading 3D Computer Graphics, a textbook written in 1993, and I came across the following:
An unfortunate aspect of the standards viewing systems is that because they afford such generality they are hopelessly cumbersome and difficult to interface with. Even if a subset of parameters is used, the default values for the unused parameters have to be appreciated and understood. Perhpas this is inevitable. The function of a standard, in one sense, is not to reflect common usage but to define a complete set of facilities that a user may require in a general viewing sytem. That some of these facilities will hardly ever be used is unfortunate.
Substitute "web services" for "viewing systems" and this is a very relevant statement, IMO.