This has turned into a much longer post than I had anticipated. The TLDR version is: I now like the AeroPress and James Hoffmann.
Roughly four months in, I now really like the AeroPress. One of my initial annoyances about it was that it came with too many pieces of what I thought to be unnecessary plastic. Why can't people just use a spoon to stir? Why can't people just load the coffee directly into the AeroPress without using the funnel? However, I have grown fond of the paddle, and James Hoffmann has finally made me understand that that funnel also allows you to press into smaller drinking vessels. Oh...I am still never going to use it though.
I think I now actually prefer the AeroPress to my cafetiere, which came as a bit of a shock. It is mainly the clean up process. For some reason, I can't stand any of my coffee stuff being dirty. I will leave my bikes to rot, for example, but every time I use my cafetiere, I end up breaking the filter part down into it's three separate bits and cleaning them all meticulously. This is a faff. Getting all the grounds out of the cafetiere body and the mesh filter is also a pain, in my opinion. Also, owing to the influence of JH, my cafetiere brewing routine now takes about 12 minutes and involves dirtying another cup and another spoon. That also proves to be too much faff most days. I only really use the cafetiere now when I want to make around one and half cups (400ml) for myself at the weekend.
I went down a bit of a weird rabbit hole one day trying to decide which reuseable metal filter to buy for the AeroPress (and if anyone does have a strong opinion on this, I am still interested). The actual upshot of this was that I decided the paper filters are actually really great and are not wasteful, as I first thought. They are much smaller than, say, V60 or Clever Dripper filter papers, and are pretty economical. You can even rinse and reuse, although someone else pointed out that this might waste more water than it is worth. Squeezing out the puck and popping into the compost bin with the paper is brilliant and I think that is ultimately what has won me over. I also like the speed of the brewing process, and, having had some time to work on it, this is now pretty seamless and results in a good cup of coffee.
Also, one last point in defense of the Hoff: he does often say stuff along the lines of ''you don't need to spend money on this stuff to get great coffee/spending this much money is chasing diminishing returns/this is only really suitable for commercial set ups'' etc . People will get different stuff out of the videos, the best things I have picked up from them was stuff like the trick to reduce static when grinding and the long cafetiere brewing technique (genuinely made some excellent coffee that way). Similar to the AeroPress, although I was skeptical at first, I now really like James Hoffmann. Looking forward to the rest of the AeroPress series. Just hope he doesn't convince me that the ultimate AeroPress technique actually requires leaving it to steep for 30 minutes or anything like that.