Yeah, on balance they're not good protection (like a full-face helmet would be) and they aren't better than a cloth face protector. I do think they're a neat idea in principle, but it sounds like they have too many design niggles.
I just bought a Volcom jacket for this season that has a built-in face mask. Now that's a good design!
I know you think you thought you knew what you thought I said,
but I'm not sure you understood what you thought I meant.