I recently re-did someone's website using Dreamweaver and not WordPress. I had access to statistics both before and after and the statistics were telling.
Whomever had set up the site initially had included a number of widgets, themes and so on to make things look nice. That's all well and good—except page load times were abysmal and, were viewers on dialup (since most of the USA is not any more this point may be moot) they would have given up before the first page loaded.
The site did not require WordPress. There was no need for the client to edit content or add to it.
I do have a new site that does require that my client add to the content and I believe WordPress is the right way to handle this. But I am wary of a code load that is going to decrease the performance of the site.
I have found a theme (for $75, which is well within budget) and plan to purchase it. I will also need a slider widget.