One of my pet peeves, I loathe building backend forms. Hell froze over and WordPress did what I want, and added the custom type post with a standard backend table handler. WordPress is become a CMS.
Why is the new custom types backend important ? It reduces risk and cost of ownership of small customizations to handle user tables, which makes WordPress more competitive in the small local business niche.
There is a sizeable market for small local business sites like the restaurant with their menu, for instance, the snackbar, the pizza delivery place, volunteer jobs. That is the market of 500 to 3000 bucks jobbing. Currently these have a choice between packages like Magento, Joomla, WordPress, Flash or the html-sixpager. Each have their own advantages and disadvantages, Joomla offer better user table support but have a smaller community, Flash looks better but has little standard installs, Magento offers a standard shopping cart and check-out but is aimed at online shops, and WordPress offers cheaper templates, better SEO, more pluggable functionality and a giant community but got stuck in being a publishing platform.
Once a company picked WordPress and wants to use small user tables, in case of a restaurant for an online menu or reservations, that requires custom coding and creates extra dependancies, cost and risk. If for every menu-plugin you have to write the table-handler with custom jquery, the average plugin costs 300 dollars (check the getafreelancer joblist ;) ). For a small business with a menu, agenda, reservations/stock, that is about 1000 dollars to handle maybe 200 records throughout the year. With updates that plugin can break and it takes time to find a developer that can fix it. The developer costs money, and losing turnover costs even more money.
With a standard user table manager within a year it costs 50 bucks to develop a solution (just Google ‘wordpress custom type restaurant menu’ and cut and paste it). Should the code break, a few hundred developers have the same problem at the same time, and it is fixed the same day with a free update.
Low risk and low cost in the development and ownership phase. That leaves in general more budget for layout and exploring exciting new possibilities for WordPress in the small business market.