No doubt they make great boards but all the "hype" is a major turn off for me not to mention how often they are stolen.
I'd rather ride a K2, Saloman, Arbor or something like that as I hate nothing more than the "me too" syndrome.
I know what you mean... but I feel like if I say that I'll sound like an old man complaining about how he's been there "before it was cool" and now the neighborhood is all full of annoying hipsters who are ruining the whole reason everyone moved their in the first place.
My first NS board was a 2003 Never Summer Evo - I actually found that board to be mediocre. In 2008 I got a SL 155 and liked it, but I just had to try out the 2009 RC SL 155... I tried the Lib Tech Jamie Lynn Phoenix as well to compare different company hybrid camber models but it still rode too much like a Skate Banana)
In the past I rode a bunch of boards made by small companies (a few are one-man operations)... Donek
, Rome back in like 2005, Prior
, then Madd Snowboards (with two 'd's, I think they are out of business), Coiler
, Rad Air
- but I'm getting old and I don't have the time as much to find and try obscure brands as I used to. It's funny... because one of my friends always complains that Burton is ruining the snowboarding industry and destroying small snowboard store by overproducing snowboards that invariably need to be sold at 50% discount. Then I point to out the snowboard he has owned - Burton Twin (bought 50% off), second Burton Twin (warranty replacement), Burton Dragon (50% off), Ride Kink, Burton Dominant (75% off), Burton X8 (50% off), Burton X8 (50% off... he literally picked up a second one because he like the first one so much, but has core shot the base and didn't repair it in time), Burton X8 V-rocker (50% off). Now he's been moving slightly away from the megacorp Burton... to Gnu with a Park Pickle and he's even considering Thrive (he's friends with the founders) but I doubt he'll get one unless they give it to him for free.
I was thinking about going to buy a Heritage or Cobra this season to replace my aging 2009 SL just based on my past experience with NS and from talking to a bunch of people who has ridden a Cobra/Heritage... but I've decided instead to try out some other brands some more. At the very least I'm going to probably wait until I demo the Cobra/Heritage when Never Summer swings by this spring before buying.