Jeffrey Veen has written an excellent piece on making a better open source CMS. If you're into content management systems, go read it. If you're a CMS developer, stop what you're doing now, go read it and, for once, try to understand what Jeffrey says. Even if yours is not open source, those advices still apply.
I'm confident all those ugly systems we see today will eventually disappear. They are to content management what the markup-ridden text editors we had to use 20 years ago on terminals hooked to mini systems are to MS Word. In 20 years from now we'll have something a zillion times easier to use that's part of the standard office tools.
Meanwhile, it is still exceedingly desperating to see that getting a CMS developed in a reasonable budget and time frame is more complicated than launching a manned mission to Mars.