this news.com headline from yesterday got me riled up: Where's the simplicity in Web services?. basically its about people bitching that there are too many WS-* specs and/or they are too complex.
1st) let me politely say that these people are idiots, and they should not be running your business.
2nd) these are probably the same people that said SOAP was too simple to begin with 4 years ago; because it lacked specs for large files, security, reliability, etc...
3rd) the other option for language and platform independence is CORBA. if you think CORBA is simpler than WS-*, then you deserve a boot to the head.
4th) the other option is REST. if you dont think you can make very simple SOAP requests without doing WS-Security and the advanced specs, then you deserve a kick in the nuts.
5th) how complex is XML? all the WS-* specs are about is getting the XML to match a schema. making XML look the way you want it to is about as simple as it gets.
6th) MS and IBM are making toolkits to even hide that little bit of complexity from you. we've got .NET, WSE, and Indigo tomorrow. can you say Don Box?
7th) i've stopped working on the WS-* implementations for CF in my spare time because i dont consider it a challenge anymore. you look at the WS-* spec and then make your XML look like the spec. if you get lucky, then you'll have to write some actual code with logic. if you get even lucker, you might have to deal with an interop issue ... its grunt work