Re: I've little sympathy for permies
"He produced virtually nothing in 3 months, at which point he was ditched and we head hunted someone who could actually do it as a permie."
We've had a very similar scenario. Contractors I've used generally have no care for the company and the motivation for success and so the work is done to the minimum they can get away with.
Permanent staff have a real motivation to to the best job and see their projects flourish and grow. As they'll be looking after them they make sure the coding is good, well documented and far fewer 'fudges' than the contractor work.