Well, I'm sure there are a ton of people who can't figure out why folks would be so het up about white gas vs. isopro vs alcohol - "aren't they all the same?"
Over on Backpacker magazine forum it looks like there are mainstream backpacker folks slowly dipping toes in the alcohol stove pool - one guy can't figure out why his stove (a bud can cut down into a cup) doesn't boil water well. He's on the first rung of the ladder that will take him to advanced alcohol stove physics if he keeps climbing... and when it comes down to it, you practically do need a lot of physics to get why the number of holes, air gaps/vents and so on have to be just so... all to get that perfect burn with max fuel conservation.
So yeah - all stoves are the same, except different. All hammocks are the same, except different. And to us innovators that's just a laugh - if they were all the same why would any of the stove/hammock/pack geeks bother? And why wouldn't the guy trying to fit a full backpacking kit into a summit pack be able to do that without sore shoulders? It's just a pack, right? If the gear fits why won't it work? He'll take the REI guy's word for it over the say-so of folks on the internet any day! The REI experts know best, right?
I'm sure if someone starts talking to me about all the innovations in climbing gear, I'd be all, duh, isn't it just ropes and little metal thingies? (cue eye roll)
"In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities. In the expert's mind there are few." Shunryu Suzukihttp://hikeandbackpack.com