It sounds like the route you're taking will certainly give a higher quality presentation. It also sounds like there would be a lot more to learn. I just finished my first website, did it with FP2K. Great software, easy to learn.
I think you're right that people may not like having to load up software from you just to run your CD. But I also would like to have music playing in the background while they peruse the photos.
How did you measure the 800% better results?