One thing I do agree on, it is hard for consumers to accept products that are conservationist in nature, that seem to provide worse "quality" or "benefit". This is especially true for any resource such as water and electricity costs currently are priced, they are so cheap that savings that are made do not seem to be "worth" it to the consumer. This sentiment might be aggravated if one knows how much energy is used by factories, companies, where it seems any savings done by the individual consumer may be dwarfed by wastage in other areas.
It just depends. I'm not sure I'm the typical consumer. But I will buy something that I think has the best value. It's difficult for me to spend $10 on a CFL when I can get a "regular" bulb for $1. Maybe I'll save money over time, maybe not. But I do know I'd rather have that extra $9 now. I pay about 7 cents per kWh.
For a 100 watt incandescent bulb that lasts 1000 hours it costs me $7 to run for its lifetime. But that 1000 hours might occur over 2 years. Total cost might be $8 for 2 years or $4 a year.
A CFL will last 10000 hrs and use 30 watts or about $21 worth of electricity over a 20 year life or about $1 per year. But as I said, I've used them. In my experience they don't last 20 years. Maybe they last 5 before they need to be replaced for whatever reason. So total cost is about $15 over 5 years or $3 per year. Even over all the bulbs in my house, saving $1 per bulb per year is just not worth having all the mercury and so forth in my house even if the "quality" were the same.
The bottom line is, people are going to do what is easiest and cheapest. They respond to prices. Prices rise to ration things that are in short supply. So far electricity prices have not risen enough to make CFLs worthwhile to me. I don't think government interference in the "household lighting" market is a good thing.
I wonder if we will have a new government agency. The Bulb Enforcement Administration, that conducts midnight raids on incandescent users.