No sooner do I start up on the old blog again than Mike pitches in and pushes me off my training wheels. Thanks Uncle Mike. No, I'm not really being a whining limey/pom bastard or whatever you call us these days. But Mike, you aren't in the UK, and, with respect, you are the one on crack.
The only people doing any projects at all at the moment are government departments. They have all been handed down mandates to encrypt their data. Every financial institution in the country has suddenly realised that they are incredibly vulnerable. The world is a different place. The UK doesn't always follow the US, not when the drivers are different.
[By the way, the reason I've been 'away' for 9 months is because I was on a top secret assignment inside one of these institutions. You think everyone's got data security sewn up already? Not by a long chalk.]
Oh, and as to your "it's too damn hard and costs too much money" - maybe if you're still in 1995. I've been in the encryption game for coming up to 10 years now, and the market is more buoyant than ever, despite the fact that money is being cut elsewhere.
Come forward to the 21st century, and we don't have to use PKI any more. We don't even have to know much about keys unless we're installing. PGP didn't become the standard for encrypting email by accident my old mate. Cheap, usable and really so simple that even a Senior Vice President could install it. :)