I think they absolutely rock.
On my second pair of Terrocs now and I use them for hiking/mountain stuff as well as running. They seem a bit minimalist at first (but probably wouldn't do after Vibrams or Frees) but they become very comfortable.
Yes, not great on tarmac/pavements, certainly with the trail shoes Inov 8 started with. I'm not that familiar with the other stuff they're making.
One thing I've noticed is they are quite narrow, I need to take a half size up from my normal shoe.
Hard wearing (the tread loses its funkiness but it lasts)
A good price (not sure about the US)
And I've never had a blister with them.
Other's mileage may vary.
The rationale for reduced gin intake and the knowledge of the perils of alcoholism and attendant metabolic derangement has almost entirely come from physicians and researchers.