I just got back from hiking about 1000 miles in the mountains of Central Spain using this stick. Some comments:
1) I absolutely need to be able to put my hand on the top of the stick during certain manuevers (pole-vaulting deep stream with high banks on the side, so that the pole is only at mid-thigh heights when buried in the stream bed, etc) and the stick as shipped is very uncomfortable for this. So I added a 3/4" rubber cane tip from the hardware store to the top, with some duct tape underneath to hold in place. This worked well.
2) the strap slips down easily. I added some crikled duct tape around the middle of the pole to stop this.
3) the gold colored tip slipped off during a stream crossing because it got stuck in some very tenacious clay at the bottom of the stream. This was in March and the stream was hip deep (and cold!!!) where the tip slipped off, so I ended up having to dive down to retrieve it. Luckily I did retrieve it, but then the same problem occurred during another stream crossing. What happens is that the friction between the tip pieces is reduced when they get wet and cold. Moisture acts as a lubricant and the male and female alumimun tip sections shrink/expand at slightly different rates due to cold/heat. If the tips are sized to be snug when warm, then they will be loose when cold. If they are snug when cold, they will be very tight when warm.
In order to avoid more slipping, I bent the male tip sections slightly in the field so they fitted tighter. This solved the slippage problem, but because the fit was now excessively tight, the male sectino exerted heavy pressure on the female section when assembling the pole and eventually one of the female sections came unglued and slipped deeper into the tube so that now the tip didn't fully meet and this pole was very weak at this point. This happened in May, near the end of my trip. I managed to complete the trip without problems, but I see this as a serious shortcoming, since there is no way to repair this problem in the field. My tarp is designed to use any stick, including a tree branch, as the front support, but I'm getting tired of sticks letting me down. All of the cam sticks I've used in the past have let me down eventually and now I'm seeing that this luxury lite stick also can let me down.
4) Because of rain and other factors, I once decided to make an early shelter and apparently did so in a place where someone could see, who then called the police. They came to investigate and told me I had to pack up and leave because camping was not permitted where I was. In the course of packing up while being watched by the police, I had to insert the knife piece back into the rest of the pole. I did this quickly and discretely as possible, but certainly if the police had been watching more closely and if they had wanted to nab me on something serious (they didn't, they were just following procedures), this would be a great opportunity because of the concealed weapon issue. So I think it would be a good idea to cut the knife off so the short sections is like the other sections.
5) On the other hand, the knife was quite comforting when some wild boar surrounded my tent (I removed the knife section to make the pole shorter for use with my tarp). Not that I really want to fight a full sized male boar in pitch dark with nothing but a knife in my hand. They hunt these beasts in Spain and so I don't know why they were daring to approach me, but they did.
6) Incidentally, the knife will bend if you try using it as a trowel. A trowel is not necessary anyway. If the ground is soft, then just use the tip of the pole to push the dirt away. If the ground is rock hard, then a trowel is hopelessly ineffective.
7) there are times when I need to store my stick somewhere in or on my pack in order to rock climb. The luxury lite is somewhat cumbersome for this, compared to collapsible sticks, because I have to disassemble and store it inside the pack rather than just collapsing it and then hanging it on the outside of the pack. I don't do this that often.
8) The luxury lite is not nearly as good as collapsible sticks for use as a self-arrest pick when crossing snow banks on a slope. First, the tip is not that sharp. Second, because the luxury lite can't be collapsed, you have a lot of extra stick at the top which would likely unbalance you if you fell. I didn't cross many snow banks nor do I have much experience using any hiking stick during real (as opposed to practice) self-arrest manuevers. But the luxury lite would definitely be a poor choice compared to the tracks sherlock or one of the cam-lock collapsible sticks.
9) the luxury lite is as good as any other stick for fending off dogs, which is probably the single most important reason for a hiking stick, in my experience.
all things considered, I liked the feel of the Luxury Lite stick very much after I modified it with the rubber cap and the tighter coupling. But the possibility of the female tip sections coming unglued has me worried that this stick is not much more reliable than the cam lock sticks that keep failing on me every 1000 miles or so. I will probably be returning to the Tracks Sherlock Staff for my next trip, even though it weighs quite a bit more. The more experience I get, the more tolerant I am of extra weight in exchange for extra reliability.