From Ephraim Schwartz in Infoworld: "From everyone I speak to, it is a foregone conclusion that Web services are a less-costly alternative than other integration technologies."
I sure would like to see some analysis of what these folks are claiming. What costs are they including or excluding? What systems are being integrated? What is the environment (departmental, enterprise, external, global, regional, etc.)? What are the architectural components?
I don't doubt that web services in general are the direction. That's a fete accompli. How people are using them currently, and how they are accounting for their success or difficulty is a topic worth exploring in much depth.