I do infrastructure engineering for a small startup and really I think with any of these managed systems you need to step back and evaluate them within the context of TCO, lock-in, security, reliability, performance and flexibility/customizability. I've heard ES isn't that much of a PITA to manage on its own, but on the flip-side I'd never sign up a small team to run PgSQL at scale.
I just run ES for my logstash setup, and ES is lovely and rock-solid... except when it isn't. For example ES deciding to just silently refuse input when its disk is 90% full - that was a bit hard to find when it happened. ES looked alive, but hunting down the reason why it stopped wasn't trivial. I've had a couple of similar but lesser gotchas as well.
I guess you could say of my experience that it's not that much of a PITA (as you say), but it is still a bit of a PITA.
Disclaimer: if these things weren't a bit of a PITA, there'd be no need for us sysadmins, so I should be grateful...