Did you disabuse them of the idea that Fantastico (or whatever DreamHost has) can "maintain" anything? Yeah it will "update" whatever it installs usually by breaking much of what you have added...
Is there any kind of Joomla community consensus on Fantastico installs? Drupal people are dead set against it. I think it's safe for one time installations but I'd generally rather not use it as the speed convenience is not that big of a deal and you lose some control over settings. Plus you set yourself up for bogus "update" nagging by email.
Dreamhost uses their own one-click
installers, not Fantastico. I moved my personal site to Dreamhost in 2005 and found that for the most part the installers and updaters work quite well. The main exception was one Pligg update for MitoAction's previous site which looked like it didn't take. The one-click update for phpBB from version 2 to 3 worked very well.
I have run several Joomla! installations in demo and test mode. (Yeah, I try to beat things to death before imposing them on clients.) The updates appeared to work quite well, but I found that the one-click upgrade from Joomla! 1.x to 1.5x on Dreamhost also required new themes and the directions were a bit complicated. Subsequent one-click updates have gone well as long as I remember to redo the tweaking of php files to enable users to switch themes on one installation.
As to email nagging, I am getting messages to update Joomla! installations that are no longer there. I suspect that is user error on my part though. I neglected to disable email notification before removing the applications through the one-click installer. The last time I did an install, the Dreamhost default was for email notification off.
A couple months ago Dreamhost started offering Drupal in addition to WordPress and Zenphoto as an Easy Install
. They do all the updates and there is no email nagging. They have not offered Drupal as a one-click
install. Wonder if that may reflect the Drupal community consensus on installers?