Bob Cringely has a nice hand with metaphors, and his SAP/Squirrel analogy does it for me (though I have a sneaking feeling that if GuiXT really had been THAT simple, the cat would have been out of the bag a long time ago.) The truth, methinks, is that understanding what those numbers mean is just hard, no matter what, and no amount of interface fiddling is going to change that.
Anyway, time to recount (and probably repeat) my favorite SAP joke:
SAP is a new basic element, but contrary to other basic elements, which go from solid to liquid to gas as they heat up, SAP has a different cycle. It starts out as a liquid: You pour it into a hole in the business – where functionality and control is lacking – and it fits perfectly as you install it. Next, it goes into gas form, expanding until it fills the whole business as you add modules.
Then it becomes a solid, hard to change, so you have to shape new business processes around it.