I work for a publicly funded institution, in our jurisdiction we have to go through the RFP process. It is either an RFP (where we are allowed to do an evaluation of who "best" met the requirements - using a pre-defined scoring criteria) or a straight tender where we have to pick the lowest bid that meets the requirements.
I sympathize that it is very difficult to produce a proper response to an RFP, however as one who evaluates those responses let me tell you it is quickly evident which vendors spend the time to do so. It is also painful on the client side to prepare the criteria on which to fairly evaluate the responses.
It is an imperfect process and definitely more of an art than a science but the good news is that a well-defined RFP will often signal a client who understands their requirements.