I am not on the forums that often because it regularly degrades into a your a kook because blah, blah. This one has not. I have enjoyed everyone's intellegent responses and I have learned from it. Thanks.
Here's my 2 cents. I've had one CI. It went well...real well actually. But it was overpriced, and the glass job didn't hold up too well under my feet. It delammed pretty quickly. I'm big and need a heavier glass job than what is typical on a CI, so it could have just been the light glass schedule others have eluded to.
I don't think I would pay retail for one again. I just feel I can get something that works better for me for the same price or cheaper. That said, if I found a deal on a used one I liked, I would grab it. I would actually like to try alot of their shapes. I think they are good boards just a little pricey and not ideal for me.
The fact that they are spun off a machine doesn't really bother me. Obviously a lot goes into finalizing the shape, and I think the finished board is on par with most high end hand shaped boards. As long as the finished shape works, that's really my main consideration. Then again, I have a Chinese popout in my quiver, so I could be the devil.
By the way, I'm all grown up, make a good living, but still don't like to waste money. If I can hang on to an extra $200, that's fine with me.
I have a 5'9" CI flyer that I like. Its a fun board but I got a good deal on it used, I would never buy one at full price, thats pretty outrageous for a new board. Well known brands like CI, Lost, FireWire, etc are popular because they have a wide selection of shapes, are proven to work well which is why so many pros ride them, and they are readily available in most shops. I think people tend to buy them because they are easy to find info and reviews on them so the buyer will know what they are getting.
Local shapers are always the way to go but buying a well known board is just easier in some cases. If I ever buy a board new I will definitely get one custom shaped from someone local rather than buy one off the rack though, you just get a much better experience for the price and you get something specifically for your needs. I tend to stick to the used racks and craigslist for now though to save some green.
I did see a used 5'6" CI Dumpster Diver at a shop today that was pretty sick looking. Would probably be the perfect size for me but I dont really "need" it haha...