Thanks for your comment! What we described is exactly what a Google reseller told us happens. However, vendor models change (we see Google's pricing was updated just a month ago), so we've asked the StackShare people to update the article.
The reality is that Google clients often have to step up to annual Premium contracts because usage isn't always constant during a week or month, and often usage is seasonal.
As we mentioned in the article, a city newspaper web site with a rather basic map of new parking areas can easily blow away the free+paid tier. If you need to mix in other services such as a basic geocoder (OpenSource alternatives are available for free or low $'s'), you'll find yourself in Premium with the other providers. And of course as we mentioned, if you have any kind of internal app or you're involved with transportation/logistics, you go straight to Premium with them.
Finally, 3 million paid views on MapJam costs $435, or about one third of the Google cost you calculated. And we are advertising free!
If we can make it to Germany in a month, the first beer's on us for sure!