As usual ... playing Devil's Advocate here ...
There are bonuses for RM (or other managed solutions) rather than a vanilla 2K3 network ...
For schools that have minimal technical support or schools where the support team are concentrated on other areas CC3 can save time (and that also means money) on a number of tasks that can be done by other means.
The packaging of applications has been made easy in CC3 and you pay for this ... in a vanilla network you pay for this too, but as a seperate cost with things like Wise or the full verion of WinINSTALL.
Print control is an extra in a vanilla system (PCounter and Print manager Plus seem to be the most common) and again ... at a cost.
The benefits of vanilla systems over CC3 ...
There are so many tools and places for help it is unbelievable (actually, this can sometimes be a bac thing ... but generally it is good)
There is at least one less level of obfustication when having to fix a problem.
You can build the tools you need, and know exactly what they do.
I keep saying that whatever works in a school ... then let it work. The only time I will draw a line is when it is not cos effective or if it works for one person and disadvantages everyone else.
We also have to remember that until recently the ICT Co-ordinator may have been the person running the show with the system in the school and that meant they were on seriously limited time ... CC3 is a perfect response to this ... and as more teachers do just that, teach ... we will find a greater need for support staff in school to take up the slack, sometimes it is not always possible to allow them the time to build a system that works exactly as required and an out of the box solution can be the best thing.
Personally, if it meant that the support team has more time to get on with other things then CC3 would be an option for me ... that £60000 may seem alot, but that is the cost of a techie (with on costs) for nearly 3 years. In some cases it might be worth it but in others maybe not.