Based on your response, I can't say I know you, but I have a guess that you are not as negative as you sound. It sounds like you are just curious as to why we are all so crazy to purchase a vehicle that has Almost nothing, but still gives EVERYTHING that a true driver could ever ask for.
Hate my friends, no. I thoroughly enjoy my friends and the time that we spend. Most of us are car junkies in our own way anyway, and so it is fun to see what each person has, drives, and spend time driving together.
Why the Lotus...well when in the market, I drove an Audi S5, Audi S4, BMW M3, Porsche Cayman, and numerous others, and they all left me with the same feeling. Blah. The cars had SO much technology in it, that driving it did not actually feel like driving it. For example the new Audi S5 is so TECHNOLOGICALLY integrated that the car will automatically counter steer the vehicle if you are in a slide, and yet you will have NO clue that it just did it. Audi technicians proved it to me. With me being a driving enthusiast, that did not thrill me in anyway. Sure technologically cool, but truthfully, for me, that bites. So there is the first thing, it is a TRUE driver's sports car.
Now there is an economical side to me as well. So, then I consider all the vehicles up above against the lotus and look at gas mileage, reliability, and cost of repairs/maintance. And sorry to say, but the Lotus beats them all HANDS down on that one. So far in my elise, when I am being SUPER conservative in my driving I have averaged as high as 40 mpg on the highway, and as low as 29 mpg for fun driving. My wife's Jetta gets 31 on high...so that sealed that day, because NONE of the cars above even come close to matching that kind of gas mileage. The cost of repairs, that is a no brainer. My mother in law has a BMW 325 Xi, costs for parts is ridiculous and working on it yourself can not be very fun. Just rebuilt a 2000 Audi S4, and don't ever want to do that again.
So then that brings it down to the fact that the car is gorgeous, turns heads EVERY where I go, most people have enough respect not to try to race you, but to just admire that which you drive...and you gotta love the fact that taking a 180 degree corner rated at 30 mph at 70 mph is just AMAZINGLY cool. EVEN my wife, who is very cautious, enjoyed taking a 270 degree off ramp rated at 50mph at 75mph, and not even realizing that she was going that fast. It brought the largest grin to her face, and she is not a driving enthusist such as myself.
So those are the reasons...oh yeah, and of all the cars there, it was the one my wife and I could both agree to when it came to looks/styling. And I do throughly enjoy the soft top and hard top feature on the car is very nice.
Sure when it comes to creature comforts (i.e. videos, GPS, AMAZING a/c, etc...) the car is not the best. When it comes to driving comfort and just enjoying the car, it in my mind can not be beat.
And as for my friends, not one of them has even hesistated to ask for a ride, and I can't help but smile and say, ABSOLUTELY, it doesn't take much to get me to want to drive it...all you have to do is ask.
But in the end, the answer to your question can only be answered by you, as the question is really, why did you purchase it...and I don't think it is for the reasons you listed.
Good luck on finding your answer.
Oh Yeah, and I am 31, sold my 2000 Ford Ranger, 1999 Audi A4, 1986 Honda Magna, Both VW Super Beetles, and I am now driving around a 1986 Nissan P/U and so wanted to add a little fun in my life. The wife OK'd it, I got her to clear the $30k to spend, and I went shopping.
So.... why Lotus?
Why did you guys spend your 30k or greater on a mid engine go-kart? What makes you LOVE Lotus? Am I the only one who calls random (ugly) girls at the bar by my car's name to make them seem remotely interesting? Why not get a BMW? (If I hear the last one again.... one word. Columbine)
Why did I get one? I am 20 years old, kinda wealthy (for my age), single and I hate all of my friends.
I personally expect every answer to be the same as mine, for I am curtain that everyone here is young, has some cash to throw around, single and hates their friends... At least on the inside.