I have now found the copy of Printweek with the 'opinion' piece by Frank Romano. It is dated 15 April 2004, ahead of Drupa. the headline is 'A premature JDF gamble is not the answer'. "JDF is a great idea but its time has not yet come". Problems include the multiplicity of vendors and the age of existing equipment. Cost savings are hard to demonstrate given other automation possibilities. Speed improvements could depend on originators integrating job information when the job is created. Maybe not a good idea as these same people mess up fonts, images and colour spaces.
Point one obviously is that they should read one of Frank Romano's books on PDF.
Point two is to ask what has changed in the last couple of years? My impression is that both Quark and Adobe have an idea about JDF workflow as part of page design. There is some form of template that can be set up similar to a file for distiller settings as required later in the process. This seems to be fairly clearly stated in the description of 'job jackets' for Quark 7. I am not as clear on what Adobe intend. Maybe it will vary with the OEM partners.
At Momentum in Print there could be some more information, even if it is to clarify the outstanding issues.