Rather than try to make sense of the controversy for you (since I can't even do that for myself), I'll just do what I always do and tell you about my own life with CFLs. There was a time a few years after we got married that the price of CFLs suddenly came down enough for me to consider buying them, but I wasn't about to rush out and get all new ones when I still had perfectly-working regular bulbs in the house. So, we decided that once we were out of incandescents, then we would make the switch to CFLs. And I think the incandescents were on to us, because I remember there being a big gap in time between the decision making and the actual purchasing. But, we finally got some and have been quite happy with them, to the extent that every time we've moved, we've bought a pack of cheap incandescent bulbs to leave in the light sockets so we could take our CFLs with us. In hindsight, that doesn't really help the environment or encourage the people who moved in after us to try CFLs, but hey, I paid for those things and I want to keep them. Maybe in the future I'll be more generous with my light bulbs...
...kind of like the people who were here before us. Yep, when we moved into this apartment, we found CFLS in most of our light fixtures. And these are the old CFLs, the ones that take a few minutes to warm up once you turn them on. (Our newer ones that we put in our own lamps come on right away.) So I suppose that's a bit of a testimony as to how long these bulbs last, that we've inherited these older, slow-moving bulbs from our predecessors of who knows when. And in addition to lasting a long time, these bulbs are also purported to reduce your electricity bill; I've never paid close enough attention to tell you one way or another from my own experience, and since the A/C is currently sucking up all the energy in our house anyway, I probably wouldn't be able to spot the savings if I tried.
One word of caution, as ever: Since these bulbs do contain mercury, you shouldn't be tossing them into your regular rubbish. Go to Earth911 to find a local recycling center for these bulbs and lots of other stuff.
Do you use compact fluorescent lights? Do you like them?