I want to pick this up, because we have the same sort of issue and I’m curious to know what your response is. I understand that we are technically using leads “incorrectly”. Every organization has different needs and requirements though, so hear me out:
In our case we have an external sales force - employees of businesses who partner with us. We give them access to specific Leads, and they have the option to create their own Leads. Since they are not employees, we strictly control what they have access to; e.g. they don’t even have access to the Sales Orders they generate.
The sales force is the lowest common denominator for access to the system. I’m sure training for sales is always a challenge, but in our case it’s next to impossible since they aren’t our employees and have their own systems to deal with. This means two of the hard requirements that we need to meet is: simplicity and intuitiveness. Having two doctypes (Leads and Opportunities) for a what is to them a lead is confusing and needlessly complicated, because it requires checking in two different places to accomplish the exact same thing. That doesn’t make sense under any circumstances, and could be the point the OP was trying to make. In our case what is “properly” an Opportunity for us could properly be a Lead for the external sales rep.
Complicating the entire situation is that we have an old company with old data. The company no longer exists, and many of the customers never purchased a product from our current business. For practical purposes, they are loaded into the system. This means we occasionally come across people that sales needs to interact with that have never even been customers of our current company.
An unbreakable rule for systems development is that if a system isn’t used, or used incorrectly (it doesn’t matter how “correct” it is) it isn’t a resource for the company, it’s a burden. After all, a system is only as good as the data in it. We don’t have control over training (all we can do is provide materials), and sales reps constantly leave and are replaced in these companies anyway (we’re always dealing with new users).
What we need for our system to work is a single way for sales to interact with potential customers of any kind. We already have issues simply because the current Lead form is disorganized for our purposes; introducing an “Opportunity” Doctype to sales would make things exponentially confusing for them.
My point is that Leads and Opportunities are great when you have control over training and need that level of organization, but sometimes too much organization can work against you, as it does in our case.
I hope this makes sense to you. Thoughts?