I don't get it. Long hours aren't related to CAD/CAM. I started on a board with pencil and vellum. We worked long hours on some projects on paper, and later worked long hours on CAD, sometimes we worked reasonable hours. A lot of it's related to the company and industry you work in. We are in a world economy and are competing with people in poor countries desperate for work. We also compete with other industrialized nations with strong work ethics.
A good solid modeling program can be properly used, with downloaded components modeled by the manufacturer, using interference checking and just a lot of examining fits. You can make the parts transparent and see what's happening inside your assembly. I remember the master designer putting together 3 views on the master layout, and everyone studying it to see which pencil lines went to which component! NO THANKS! If you use the power available, you can design far more stuff, better and faster than ever before. With this power and modern rapid prototyping / manufacturing methods, the prototypes should converge much faster and better into a good product. It's all about workmanship with the tools you have.
As for the elevator panel, there are bad projects in all times. It's a matter of workmanship, at either the design, manufacturing or installation stage. I've got news for you. They made bad stuff in the '70's and every time too. Maybe it's since been broken and replaced. Remember transistor radios and 8-track tapes?