I just converted my home automation from Crestron to Elan this week. The new g! Version 8 has the ability for end users to tweak a few things around but not completely program everything. It's a blend between full DIY like Control4 (also nice) and the fully integrator approach. An integrator can get it set up and then turn a few keys over to you. The dealerships typically have remote programing access as well for system tweaks yet you can customize different access panels, desktop app and smartphone app interfaces. Costs aren't ridiculous like Crestron, who seem heck bent on commercial only and have an arrogant attitude for residential, zapping folks in dealerships for a lot of money to train, and then you get your wallet hit hard for anything, as you have also discovered.
I also found Elan's corporate office to be supportive when needed (had a system in my previous home in 2005), they helped me work through some issues with a dealer and corrected things in a hurry.
As with BBQ, you'll find different tastes for each person, the bottom line is you don't have to get Crestron to have a truly remarkable, high end home automation. I could go on, suffice it to say there are a lot of advantages with Elan (and others).