At the recent SharePoint Conference, held at the Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas, there were several sessions on site provisioning and governance. These sessions were highly attended, which shows that these remain hot topics and have been since the beginning of SharePoint really.
Why after all these years is there still such an interest in these topics? The fact is, if there were a universally great way to provision sites and enforce governance, there wouldn't be the interest in these sessions. My theory is that this is something everyone wants, but most have simply not found a way to achieve adequately. Even those who have some subset of this in place, realize there is still quite a bit of room for improvement.
The problem: Self-service site creation is simply not an option if you care at all about governance. That leaves provisioning new site collections up to IT, via Central Administration. Creating uniform sites, with proper approvals, appropriate controls, and proper logging is quite cumbersome. It involves many people and manual work, which leaves a lot of room for human error, and takes a considerable amount of time.