As anyone who has ever published a peer-reviewed journal article will tell you, it is not a quick (or easy) process. In my academic career I have submitted articles (often the same article modified slightly) to the following journals:
Journal of Animal Ecology (twice)
Bulletin of Mathematical Biology
Journal of Ecology
Marine Ecology Progress Series
Biological Conservation (twice)
Ecology Letters (twice)
Of these fifteen submissions, only four were successful (although we're still waiting to hear about one of them). This hopefully in no way reflects upon my work, only upon the difficulty of pleasing other scientists. Only once so far have I given up trying to get an article published. It received only slightly negative comments the first time it was reviewed, but was rejected by the editor and each time I submitted somewhere else the comments got worse.
I am currently in the process of preparing a final two articles for submission and have spent the last week working on these two articles. One of these is by a former student of mine and the other I am entirely responsible for. This particular paper is the paper I was funded to write during my first post doc position, which started in 2005. Although I will be ready to submit it for review in a couple of days it will definitely be the one I have worked on (admittedly on and off) for the longest period of time. Looking at the length of the list above it's likely that I will have to submit it to two or three different journals before it gets accepted. I wonder how many years that will take.