Personally, I love the elephant -- and find the it's corner-turned ear, in the manner of a notebook page, rather ingenius. I actually shelled out for a year to get the Elephant T-shirt--though try as I may I'll never exceed the 40MB/mo limit of the free account. . . guess I'll consider it a donation. (Plus, the removal of ads from the public/published notebooks I have)
I can't tell you how many times I'd installed and tried Evernote 2 but never cared for it, meanwhile I've found that despite my initial reservations my data life pretty much revolves around EN3 now. Stark contrast with the norm, which seems to be love for EN2 and hate for EN3. As my cell phone is always on me, I am constantly texting notes/reminders/etc to my Evernote inbox -- being able to do so and then access them next time I'm on my computer, or any other computer with Internet access, is awfully convenient.
I wish there was some portable solution for my palm, but then there'd be issues of storage--which is where EN3 is really brilliant. With everything web based, storage isn't a consideration. Assuming you have a smart phone or other such device. . . Alas, I do not, but Evernote might be what pushes me off the fence on that issue.
I guess I'm of the school of thought that prefers their data sitting in the Internet vapors, I haven't carried a USB storage device in a couple of years now. I find it's much preferable [for me] to just use a web browser. I'm not particularly security concerned. As far as the data goes, it feels safer for me on the Internet than in my pocket.
As far as the speed of uploading notes, I really haven't had any problems with that -- and I have a really, really lousy ISP. Granted my notes are mostly text with just the occasional image intersperced, not graphically heavy or weighted down by PDF's.
I do agree with you that the software itself seems a bit clunky. The interface of the web version isn't all that intuitive (I hate having to hunt down, drag and drop tags in order to tag notes) and the desktop client has a gigantic, ugly, unhidable toolbar. There are a number of issues, it definitely feels beta. I originally stated I didn't care for EN3, but I've in fact been using it every day from that very day.