Moleskine -- flash, function, or fetish?

Okay, okay, I know I'm wading into a religious war here, but I'm just too stupid to keep my mouth shut. Am I really the only one who thinks the emperor has no clothes?

About once a year I need a new sketchbook, and based on all the chatter in the blogosphere about these famous little critters, I checked them out. My criteria lean toward the functional: good paper for a range of media — pencil, ink pens, and rapidograph — and a compact form factor.

While the size, exterior design, and fit & finish of the notebook and sketchbook are superb, the paper choices are just puzzling. The sketchbook paper is very hard, thick and stiff, and the unlined notebook paper is so thin that one can write on only one side of the page (and can clearly expect bleedthrough.)

Really spent time with it in the store. Rubbed the paper. Imagined using it. Even lit a candle and Dreamed of Famous Literary Figures scribbling Big Important Texts. The awesome beauty of the Moleskine experience...

Not a sausage. Went to Walden and bought my usual Sketchbook-brand sketchbook, $3.99 on the knockoff table. Shrug. I'm a heathen.