I think calling it a disaster is an exaggeration. Most of the problems described will be fixed in time: The spped will improve (already at some merchants is it quite acceptable). Also, as everyone migrates to the system, the confusion over insert vs swipe will go away as well...
These IMHO are the REAL problems:
1) The roll-out has been slow. Every article I've read says that the scanners and software are very expensive so a lot of merchants can't afford to adopt it or are delaying adoption. This is just stupid greed. The credit card companies should provide these at cost they would be dirt-cheap. Merchants would snap them up.
2) In Europe, where they have had this system forever (actually theirs is better - chip and pin!), it has not decreased crime. It has just pushed the fraud to online internet merchants. On the internet, you just provide your credit card numbers just like you always did. Why doesn't Visa and MC provide everyone with a free USB-powered reader to use at home on the internet? Sure, it would be a substantial one-time cost. The reasons then don't are #1 and #4.
3) The credit card companies adopted chip and signature which still leaves your card vulnerable to being stolen. They should have used chip and PIN (like Target does BTW), but they were too afraid it would "confuse" consumers and they would use their credit cards less. WTF? REALLY???
4) Why do these problems exist at all? Because these credit cards are a stop-gap measure. The credit card companies assume that people will pay for everything with their phones in 5 years, and credit cards will be obsolete, so there was no incentive to spend the money to do it right.