Thanks guys. I know I don't need shell access, I've been running (and upgrading) Wordpress blogs since v1.2-something. The issue is easing the process.
I have a few more blogs than you (12-14 I think), but the number is less important than the configurations. Many use different plugins, themes, some have customized the default theme, it's quite a mix.
I do agree that uploading a single zip file is the way to go, I just started doing that two upgrades ago. But I have to create several different distributions based on the blog I'm upgrading (school, personal, etc.)
Wordpress rules, but, that 2.1.1 breach is a real doozy. Makes you wonder ... and I can't believe my good fortune in not having upgraded to 2.1.1.