Part of why I ended up buying more into developer-oriented skills and tasks than sysadmin-oriented ones, and especially why I want to stay away from the Windows world, is that running large networks and/or systems sucks. It’s terrible. Mind you, the problems I’ve chosen are also terrible, but they’re a flavor of terrible that’s more palatable to me. I can deal with the kind of terrible that I’ve chosen.
In contrast, running an Active Directory domain with a thousand users is the kind of terrible that is like hitting yourself in the forehead with a hammer.
Then you have a bunch of Windows administration tools, an ecosystem of them, and their entire business model is finding people who are running large networks and selling them soft rubber pads for the business end of the hammer. Then you have Active Directory/Exchange consultants, whose business is to solemnly tell people to hit themselves with the blunt side of the hammer, not the claw side.
Over in the open-source world things are much better — which is to say, you can choose for yourself which side of the hammer to hit yourself with. You could even choose to hit yourself with the handle! Oh, and you have to worry about compatibility issues between the head, the handle, and the grip, but you can set up your own Red Hat-certified forge to make sure that you always have compatible heads.
Also, I hear Microsoft just introduced a new licensing system where you’re charged by the foot-pound.