As part of a webwide effort to help the plight of Compact Florescent lightbulbs, I am adding my 2 cents.
I think Seth probably has it right. At least partially. Compact Fluorescent (CF) light-bulbs do have a marketing problem. I’m not sure that problem is perceived difficulty of use though.
I think it’s a name problem.
"Florescent" is one of those words that make your skin crawl. At least if you are over 30. They are dim, harsh, ugly, crackling tubes hung from dropped ceilings overhead in school. Everyone over 30 has looked at themselves in the mirror under florescent lighting and cringed. They are full of chemicals. No. No one that has achieved so much as a full time job will do that to themselves.
But CF bulbs are different! The light is good! No chemicals! They last forever and make the world a better place!
No matter. They are "Florescent" lights and will not be tolerated. They need a name change.
Ask AirTran the power of a name change (remember ValueJet?). Ask the people who oppose the Death Tax how they feel about the Estate Tax. The hamburger industry well knows the magic the comes from making grease into "natural juices."
No, CF bulb, you will make little progress without a name change (at least in the next 25 years). It’s time for GreenBulbs, or Plasma Lighting to make its debut, and put Florescent Lightbulb out to pasture with Horseless Carriages.
Do it for the good of all mankind.