Bobby Wolfe of IBM told no lies when he said that

Clients often want to build only an ESB, because that involves a technology challenge without the need for messy business requirements. Building just an ESB becomes an IT field of dreams, where IT builds an ESB and then hopes some SOA will come along and use it. Such an ESB-oriented architecture loses the benefits of SOA. It doesn't create business value.

David Linthicum, an analyst who writes for infoWorld, agrees:

The truth seems to finally be coming out…you can't buy a SOA. Indeed, SOA is something you do, and an ESB is not an architecture, it's a mere instance of technology.  

Somehow this idea - that you cannot "buy" an SOA - is remarkable.  Somehow when people say, "you should only build and deploy what the business needs, you should take a practical approach that aligns IT and business value", that is news.  Odd because this is what Microsoft has been saying for some time now.   When common sense becomes notable, you know things are goofy. 

Apparently, Bobby Wolfe's article caused quite a stir at IBM because now it carries a disclaimer!

Since its publication, Bobby’s article has drawn a lot of interest, and we appreciate the discussion surrounding this article. Unfortunately, it gave some readers the impression that IBM® no longer values the ESB. Rest assured that nothing is further from the truth. ...

heh heh, amusing