my first "real" android was a vanilla original droid. i have since had exclusively htc devices,and pretty regularly run AOSP instead of sense on each one
sense 4 change my mind about sense,to an extent... sense 4 is pretty,for lack of a better description,only thing i dislike is the roms large,redixuloua footprint in memory,as i still do not use any sense widgets(with exception of flipclock). while visually its not objectionable its got alot of features i personally dont need.
before cm10.1 on my rezound,i ran a simple desensed stock-add nova or apex lanucher and you can delete htc sense. you can delete the ime keyboard,wallpapers,and a ton of other sense-related things to reduce the footprint and make the rom feel more "aosp like"
sense 5,IMO is a step backwards. its not nearly as visually pleasing as sense 4,the keyboard sucks,you cant change out things on the launcher,and then thers blinkfeed-wich i currently keep hid all the way to the left
wanting to keep the stock camera and beats/boomsound ill prolly end up desensing a stock rom to make it more tolerable.
i guess i should also say that the one is my "play" phone- i take the rezound to work,and use the one in the evenings. so i actually dont have to deal with sense 100% of the time.
this is an amazing phone. its fast,buttery smooth,sounds completely awsome! the display is awsome.any reservations about software id put aside,youll be able to change it. cm 10.1 is booting and working,its a matter of time before its good enuff for you to use if you can do without some sense components(like camera). there are a couple unofficial cm 10.1/AOKP builds here: http://forum.xda-developers.com/forumdisplay.php?f=2120
id say get the one for sure... but my opinion may be biased