Lots of people don't like SOX. Is hard to fine anyone that likes it except audit partners (and software vendors selling tools (whoops). The best critique I have found is this academic paper by Romano, from Yale law school. The Sarbanes-Oxley Act and the making of quack corporate governance.
SOX was enacted as emergency legislation amidst a free-falling stock market and media frenzy over corporate scandals shortly before the midterm congressional elections. The governance provisions, included toward the end of the legislative process in the Senate, were not a focus of any considered attention. Their inclusion stemmed from the interaction between election year politics and the Senate banking committee chairman's response to suggestions of policy entrepreneurs. The scholarly literature at odds with those individuals' recommendations was ignored, while the interest groups whose position was more consistent with the literature – the business community and accounting profession – had lost their credibility and become politically radioactive. The paper's conclusion is that SOX's corporate governance provisions should be stripped of their mandatory force and rendered optional. Other nations, such as the members of the European Union who have been revising their corporation codes, would be well advised to avoid Congress' policy blunder.
SSRN is a great source of mainly academic material, much of a good standard. (the odd white paper creeps in, but most articles are serious research papers from profs. and the like) It is designed to allow pre-peer review posting of papers. I use it alot for my research. the rankings sometimes give you an idea about strength of the paper. The Internet law and the economics stuff is especially well used and strong.
If you have any other academic or emprically sound research on the cost of SOX compliance, sent it my way…