last week I bought a pair of Komperdell Duolock Compact poles (which are essentially the same poles) on sale at REI. I used them on an overnight in the San Jacinto Mtns. this weekend and had similar mixed feelings as others. I liked the weight and the overall feel of the poles, but the duolock--or, as I wound up referring to it, the don't-o-lock, mechanism made me crazy! I only had a section collapse once; i.e. once they were locked they seemed to stay locked, but locking them was a huge pain. I was unable to lock the middle section about 75% of the time without pulling the pole section out and putting it back. The locks were good once engaged but getting the whole thing to "catch" inside the outer pole is the problem--the entire lock mechanism would spin freely because it wasn't catching.
I found two small tricks that helped. 1) the higher up I locked the section, the easier it was. I'm short and generally collapsed the middle section pretty far. But if I left it extended further it seemed to grip more readily. So, I would leave the middle section extended and collapse the bottom section further to compensate. (the bottom sections didn't trouble me much)
2) Like a couple other people mentioned, if I pulled the pole apart, and manually "started" the lock and expanded it until there was some slight tension, then placed it back inside the pole (so that it just barely fit back in), then the locking mechanism would stay engaged the it would adjust.