Ok, so what does this all mean? It means that designing effective, motivating learning is actually really hard. It means that instructional designers need to be really good critical thinkers. It means that as a profession, instructional designers need to be trained to not only know the process, but also how to recognize the limitations of process.
More than anything, if instructional design is going to survive and thrive as a profession, we need to be leaders–leaders in research, leaders in our organizations, and leaders in our field, not accepting the mediocre. Otherwise, instructional design is dead.