Well for me, cost is secondary to space concerns since my theater room is also the living room. I'm not necessarily limiting myself due to the living room but do have design challenges. Space is a big one for me, which is why i went with the LMS5400s vs the SI18s since it takes 2 of the SI18s to equal the output of a LMS5400. Now if the UXL18 had been more available when I bought mine, I might have gone with it. Same for the HS24 except I'd still be space limited but I would have gone with a HS24 in place of one of the LMS5400s.
Regarding the "hate" for the HS24, it is primarily due to the several cost increases. The initial $699 was a group buy special for "beta" testers buying a brand new, unreviewed. unproven subwoofer. It was never the introductory price of the HS24 yet people keep using that as the starting price. So the starting price was really $999 and Nick got smart and realized that was too low as the sub might have even exceeded his expectations. Why would he price a 24" sub at the same price as an LMS5400 when the HS24 seriously beat TWO LMS5400s head to head? Answer he wouldn't so that is why the quick bump to $1299. Now another reason you raise prices is because they're TOO popular and you can't keep up with demand, which is likely why he raised to $1599. Since managing supply and demand is ALWAYS difficult and a moving target, he had probably caught back up or purchased enough raw materials that he can now handle more demand...maybe why the sale for $999 again.
Hearing a single HS24 beat my pair of LMS5400s makes me realize the value of the HS24 whether that be at $999 or even up to $1599.