The issue here seems to be that the author doesn't seem to really understand the concept of "expensive".
"Expensive" is relative, and while yes, SSL does require more number crunching than not using SSL, the difference, as evidenced and backed up by google, is peanuts. In the age of widely distributed tools like Firesheep, there is no excuse to not use SSL if there is any reason at all that it should be used. Price should be no concern.
EDIT: In my (admittedly, probably overly harsh) opinion, this whole article just reads like someone whining about not wanting to do their job. The kind of thing I'd send to my boss if I wanted to tell him something wasn't technically feasible because I just wanted to sit around and sip cola.