I have only recently learned that my kid sister does not care for emoticons. In fact, I would have to say she has a bit of a hoity toity attitude about them from what I can tell. "Oh sure, you late adopters need to use emotes to get your point across, but since I've been on BBSs since the late 80s, I can use my extraordinarily fast typing to write out every thought that flits through my brain so I don't require the crutch of a three character abbreviation for my happieness."
Me, well, I've always liked the ubiquitous smiley. There's just something reassuring about being able to plop it at the end of a sarcastic line, so everyone GETS that you were JUST KIDDING. Because, let's be honest, who hasn't had some friend either IRL or online just totally freak about something that was supposed to be tongue-in-cheek? And that bugs me...more than anything else online, I hate when people intentionally (or perhaps they're just too stupid to get the subtext?) misunderstand something someone else types and use it as an excuse to throw a hissy.