Involved? That doesn't make any sense. You create a cert, backup the cert, and alter the database. It's a three step process that is actually simpler than creating a database, table, or any object within a database. It adds exactly 1 step to a restore process - restore the cert first.
I thought making backup compression an Enterprise Edition only feature was just plain stupid. After all, backup compression was on the feature request list for several versions of Sybase, LONG before the very first version of Microsoft SQL Server was licensed. I know it has been requested by hundreds of people for every single version of SQL Server since it has existed as a Microsoft product. My response to the "feature hype" item in the marketing literature was "It's about #&$^ time!"
TDE is another feature that falls into my category of "It's about $&^# time!" and should be available in every edition of SQL Server. I can create a certificate, obfuscate code ("encrypt"), enforce password policies, sign code modules, create logins/users, associate to roles, deal with ownership chains, fill in the blank for security features in every edition. TDE and Extensible Key Management are the only security features that I can think of that are not available in every edition. I can understand EKM being an Enterprise edition only feature. Making TDE an Enterprise edition only feature, in my opinion, is just plain stupid.