Everyone who uses not Linux but e.g. Solaris, the autotools are a great thing. If you ever downloaded a packages that just uses Makefiles and assues that stuff is there where is is under linux, then you know what I mean.
The auto-tools are not optimal and I agreee that it is really urgent to put all the docs into a shape where they can easilly be updated (e.g. docbook via media-wiki), but the tools work and are somewhat the standart way of doing it. Users have aquainted basic knowledge of them. If the unpackage something that requires them to do something else, then the experience is not always better.
And finally there are ways to make the auto-stuff easier. It started with packages providing the *-config files and continues with having pgk-config.
The next time, you write such an article, please be preceice and fair. And if you don't like the state of documentation of the autotools, do something against that. You are very welcome for sure and can earn a lot of fame when you are succesful with that (definitely more that by writing such an article).