Follow the PDFs?
I couldn't help but chuckle at the indignation over having the RTFM. Come on. This is Enterprise IT. You have to know what you are doing and why before you do it. It's never just a matter of "follow the bouncing ball".
I also can't agree about ESXi 5 being harder to troubleshoot. Sure it's not ESX, but in my experience, it's a lot more stable. Sure rolling up your sleeves and getting into the CLI is a little more difficult, and your options are little more limited, but it's not really any harder, and you have to do a lot less of it because stuff just doesn;t break that much. That is - if you bothered to RTFM when you first installed it.
vSphere is very far a head of the curve, still. Other hypervisor offerings are catching them up, but VMware has market share because they were the best, first, and longest at the virtualization game. That's why they charge more. ( That and maybe because they are owned by EMC - but hey, it could be worse - they could be owned by Oracle. )
Still prices are dropping. For certain this is reflective of pressure from the other players - heck even RHEV can give you a fairly decent alternative to a vSphere cluster for a fraction of the cost these days. But VMware are also focussing more R&D on different areas - like IaaS clouds, (which haven't - yet - changed the game as much as the marketing world predicted), and the whole vFabric PaaS thing - which I really don't get - as well as quite an ambitious end user compute vision/roadmap. I think that reflects the fact that the hypervisor virtualization cash cow has already flushed them up enough to take on bigger and bolder things. They are now more focussed on retaining that residual income from their install base, so we can probably expect to see some price drops for the stuff that isn't so cutting edge anymore.
vCops Standard and vCloud Network Security are pretty impressive "freebies" to bundle in to Enterprise Plus suites. That will impress a lot of medium and bigger shops, and likely see them pick up vCops Enterprise sales from larger corporates - especially if they are planning on deploying vCloud director and company. There s some real drive there in a lot of enterprises. The automation & orchestration goodness from implementing a private cloud with a robust REST API framework is pretty compelling. It really does make it a lot easier and quicker for big IT shops and service providers to service their infrastructure consumers. Dev's and QA jockeys love the freedom of being able to spin up self-serve web or DB boxes from a portal on demand. And it lends well to Agile thinking about project management, which developer types get pretty excited about.
There's lots of goodness left in VMware for big players, but small to medium shops may not really need all those features.