I agree that many people just gave up rather than persevered and got used to the ribbon menus, which I have over time. I prefer it to the older menus to be honest and once customised (you can put anything, anywhere you want it) it is a breeze to navigate around. I get Office as part of a Microsoft Partner Program and would hate to actually pay for it (well, at least pay retail for it) but at the end of the day it is a fantastic piece of kit and does everything (and much more) I will probably ever do with it.
That said, some software adopting the ribbon look is silly and should have stuck with older-style menus. Charging punters an upgrade fee just for a new menu (Malibu Stacey with a new hat) is simply revenue gathering.