Sometimes, it's just that people have weaker hands, from age, injury, whatever.
Before buying a bike, you should always make sure that you can adequately reach AND use the shifting and braking mechanisms.
A good bike shop should be able to help you find a way to get your dream bike and accomodate you.
I've had my WSD Trek since March, and am slowly building up my hand and forearm muscles for the different hand positions for braking, shifting, etc. It's quite different from my Schwinn, which is a flat-bar road bike, with those handy thumb shifters.
Sometimes, I do have trouble with the brakes on the WSD, but that's because I have tendinitis in both hands.