I just happened across this quote and it makes me want to rush out and buy that book...

“In the last ten years we have encountered quite a few C++ projects that fell far short of their required performance. At the heart of those performance failures was a design and an implementation geared for extreme flexibility and reusability. The obsession with reusable code has produced software that, due to the lack of efficiency, was not even usable, not to mention reusable. ... The problem is that performance and flexibility are often enemies. It is not an artifact of poor design or of implementation. We are talking about a fundamental tension between two forces that are pushing in opposite directions.”
    —Dov Bulka, David Mayhew, Efficient C++: Performance Programming Techniques, p. 223.