I agree with both assesments. The air intake is just behind your left ear and the car has lots of little squeaks and rattles to boot. Unless you're hypersenstive to the sounds of a high performance automobile, it's well worth the inconvenience. Test drive one. If you like it, get it.
I bought a 2006 elise without the touring pack, and IMO it was too loud for long trips, so i installed some of the factory sound deadening parts. You can get the parts list for all the sound deading bits, but the main piece is a large form fitted foam piece that fits behind the rear panel on the firewall. I pulled the seats, and installed second skin damplifier pro on the floor and areas behind the seat. Installed the foam, and poly dacron in a few places.
After the installation, i measured the ambiant SPL using a hand held meter from radio shack, and there was a measurable (and audible) difference at various speeds, but not too great. generally around 7 to 10 db (weighted), measuring SPL is not easy, because you have to look at individual frequency, and speed.
Probably cost me 200.00, and a few hours of fun, so it was worth it.
FYI, dont forget to replace the crappy factory rear speakers at that time since you will have it all apart anyway, which i didnt do and wish i had.
As for weight ( i know people strip stuff out to save a few pounds) it added about 10 pounds.
Final point. I installed Goodyear Eagle F1s and this further reduced road noise.
You guys do know that if you add a few pounds to the center of the car it's not going to kill things right. To compensate how about going on a diet it's better for you and the car. That or just wear ear plugs when driving. But coming from multiple mr2's to the lotus it's actually quieter then my previous cars.
When I did my stereo I used b-quiet sound deadening to give the rear plastic trim to make it a better platform for the speakers. As long as the interior was out I also applied it to the entire rear bulkhead and the aluminum tub behind the driver's seat. It weighs .3 lb/sq ft. I applied 2 layers to everything and added 10 lbs to the car (which was balanced by a new exhaust and battery, no visors or footrest...).
What was immediately apparent was that the overall mechanical noise and vibration of the drivetrain was greatly reduced. The exhaust and intake sucking (Green filter/no snorkel) are both much more distinct. From the passenger seat the high pitched whirr on the second cam is clearly over your outside shoulder. The front suspension sounds are more apparent. It's still loud-I wasn't trying to turn it into an SL 500-but each of the other sounds of the car is more distinct. I like.