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A simple and effective BMS is to divide a pack in half, and monitor the voltage of the two halfs. If they differ by more than a certain percentage, then you stop charging/discharging, since the pack is no longer balanced.

You can then extend this to 1/4 pack monitoring to avoid the chance that multiple cells in equal amounts go bad.

Measuring just 2 values is significantly simpler and cheaper than measuring 40-80 of them. Measuring 4 values may not cost any more than 2.
Measuring 8 values might be a lot more.

There is a curve on cost/benefits.
 
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