Thinking last night, I wonder how many potential steamers have been 'run off' by the purchase of a cheap Ruby - just to have it derail. I'm sure most buy the Ruby and an R1 oval - like I did - just to have too many bad runs vs. enjoyable runs.
Less buyers in our industry can mean higher prices and fewer choices as time moves.
An excellent observation. Those of us who have tried a Ruby and moved on to something better would agree with you. (Especially those with R1 curves. Note that the Accucraft specs call for 4' radius, 8' diameter for the Ruby!)
When asked, I always suggest the next 'grade' of Accucraft model - the $1,000-$1,800 Shay, Mogul, or similar medium size locos. They are much easier to handle and run very nicely.
BTW, don't be put off Accucraft by the Ruby. The medium size models, while not foolproof like a Roundhouse, are very nice and great fun to steam.