A large volume of research has been conducted in the cognitive radio (CR) area the last decade. However, the deployment of a commercial CR network is yet to emerge. A large portion of the existing literature does not build on real world scenarios, hence, neglecting various important aspects of commercial telecommunication networks. For instance, a lot of attention has been paid to spectrum sensing as the front line functionality that needs to be completed in an efficient and accurate manner to enable an opportunistic CR network architecture. While on the one hand it is necessary to detect the existence of spectrum holes, on the other hand, simply sensing (cooperatively or not) the energy emitted from a primary transmitter cannot enable correct dynamic spectrum access. For example, the presence of a primary transmitter's signal does not mean that CR network users cannot access the spectrum since there might not be any primary receiver in the vicinity. Despite the existing solutions to the DSA problem no robust, implementable scheme has emerged. The set of assumptions that these schemes are built upon do not always hold in realistic, wireless environments. Specific settings are assumed, which differ significantly from how existing telecommunication networks work. In this paper, we challenge the basic premises of the proposed schemes. We further argue that addressing the technical challenges we face in deploying robust CR networks can only be achieved if we radically change the way we design their basic functionalities. In support of our argument, we present a set of real-world scenarios, inspired by realistic settings in commercial telecommunications networks, namely TV and cellular, focusing on spectrum sensing as a basic and critical functionality in the deployment of CRs. We use these scenarios to show why existing DSA paradigms are not amenable to realistic deployment in complex wireless environments. The proposed study extends beyond cognitive radio networks, and further highlights the often existing gap between research and commercialization, paving the way to new thinking about how to accelerate commercialization and adoption of new networking technologies and services.