The shop I visited is called the Uptown Vapor Lounge in Tyler, Texas. As with most of the shops out here in the sticks of East Texas, the decor was sparse, but I was very impressed with a few aspects of their shop. Their stock of relevant (MVP, SVD, Vamo, a few mechs, etc.) devices was great. Their staff was friendly and knowledgable.
In the process of buying the drip tip, I asked whether they had any Aspire replacement atomizers and the salesman kind of gave me a look. His immediate answer was "no," but he paused and said "wait a minute" and then disappeared back to his back room. He came back holding a full 5-pack of the heads and said, I can sell you these. So I asked him what the story was and he said, "well, you know these Aspire products are brand new and we bought some tanks to experiment with them before we decided whether or not to sell them. We didn't like them because we felt the flavor they gave was too muted. But if you are enjoying them, then by all means, go for it."
I replied to him that I was impressed with how easy they are. That they are "so much less fussy than the Protanks." To which he replied, "yeah, we hate the Protanks." I didn't bother wasting any more of his time talking about the merits of the Protanks. I like them. On some days I love them. But after reading a little more about this shop's activities, I saw that they do Saturday RBA-instruction days and figure that anyone who is using a dripping atty or some semblance of rebuildable is probably likely to hate most if not all of the new products that DO make some concessions in the name of convenience.
I guess I fall somewhere in between. I'm just not quite ready to jump into rebuildables. It's my plan that it will be my Christmas present to myself. I'll buy a quality RBA, all the supplies, and a decent ohm meter. And then spend all Christmas week tinkering. But that's not where I am at the moment. And I suspect that most new vapers are more like me than like the guy I was buying from last night. I think most folks are willing to sacrifice some flavor and massive clouds of vapor in the pursuit of convenience. It's why I will likely also be buying another couple eGo vv's or iTaste vv's in the coming months. Because when it comes down to it, I want to have a small setup that is tinkerable. I'm certain I'll buy my first mechanical mod when I start down the RBA path. But mostly, I'm finding that I spend the vast majority of my time vaping in the car, on the go, on breaks at work, and generally as I live my life. And it at those times (the 90% of my life) that I don't want fussy. I don't want to have to drip my juice or worry that what I'm carrying isn't going to work on the first puff.
So I stand by my feelings about the Aspire line. And I'm right now thinking, man, I want to order a handful of the small Aspire ETS tanks for greater portability. But my opinion is just that. I want products that fit my lifestyle. And what is working for me is based not only on my own personal tastes, but also on the flavors and types of e-liquid that I'm using. I tend to vape strong flavors so muted flavor isn't something that I'm having problems with. It makes me tempted to just buy one little disposable dripping atty just to see what my flavors would do. Strong possibility that a few of them (cinnamon and black licorice) would downright kill me.