Some of the points roger raises are true, although not nearly as annoying as he finds them.
Issue one is just failing to properly clear the flat area under your tent/tarp, that's user error, nothing else.
Only pad failure I ever had was when i was using a big old thermarest that I had attached to the outside of my pack and on a hot day I stumbled into a prickly desert plant, which pierced 5 layers.
That wouldn't happen now though, the pads are so small they are in my pack, all safe and sound.
Sadly, not a single one of the negatives outweighs the simple fact that I never slept even reasonably well using foam, 3/8, 1/2, made no difference, first time I ever actually had a decent night's rest was using air, thermarest.
problem with ccf is you can't inflate it a specific hardness, it is what it is.
The way you sleep also makes a monstrous difference, if you sleep on your side, there's simply too much weight for a normal thickness foam pad to cushion, it's physics, force per cm2, nothing more. Even the 1" thermarest prolite can be made stiff enough for my body.
Also depends on body weight, it's all physics again, nothing theoretical. If you sleep on you back or stomach, you can use foam, I could easily do that if I could distribute my weight a bit more. Also depends on if you move when sleeping. A lot of things, some people I know just pass out, on their backs, snoring, all night, and are like rocks. Those people of course I'd rather die than go camping with, which is another question and problem.
Other factors that can obviously massively influence reliability of air is user weight, if they grasp that if they plunk their 180 pound body onto the mattress thoughtless, they can weaken delicate seams. So body weight, actual practice in using the air mattress, are also going to be major factors, but for some reason people tend to ignore such fundamental points when considering the functionality of something, a 200 pound person plumping down on the mattress, puts huge force and pressure on the pad, a 140 pound person gently placing their body on it with consciousness that this is a non robust part of ones equipment can easily get hugely different results. The drag is that the old thermarests, the original green/tan ones, were far far far more robust than the new untralight stuff, and probably were much more tolerant of abuse and less prone to failure I'd guess. And if a 200 pound, or 180, person is lying on a mattress all night, moving, they are putting a heck of a lot more force and pressure on its seams and construction than if a light person is doing the same thing. Basic physics again, seems odd to not always prominently note ones weight before deducing any larger wide spread observations on something.
And habits, like, run into campsite at dusk, toss down mattress, bivy, fail to clear space, of course you're going to puncture the air mattress, that's a given. I spend a fair amount of time clearing the space, always, without exception. I'd like to not have that worry as much, though those pricklies will puncture silnylon just as readily as your air mattress, so I just do it. House wrap as a ground cover, heavy but would probably help, to some degree, no idea on how puncture resistant it is though, the msds pdfs would show that I believe if you know what the numbers mean.
So it's not really a choice, the human body needs rest, especially when undergoing physical exertion daily, and if you can't sleep on a foam pad, it's irrelevant what advantages it has. Carrying the patch kit does not kill m e, I'm not a cripple yet, nor am I racing anyone to see how many miles of nature I can pass per day successfully, so I carry what I need to carry, it's nto rocket science here.
One great tip I got from reading these forums was to mix , ie, use a 1/8" evazote type pad under the air mattress, and that's especially relevant with these new hyper thin fabric light ones that are coming out now. Then you have the sit pad too. If you use stiffer, like 3/16", it rolls up tight enough to make a pack frame that works. With thinner, you can use a folded 3/8" pad, two sections, to wrap the 1/8 up with. Great for sitting, great for meditating, whatever.
I actually agree with the pluses of ccf, and as soon as someone starts selling 1" or 3/4" ones made with the new foams, if the weight is comparable to air mattress plus under foam pad, I think I'll contemplate switching to that, though it won't be quite as good as a 1" air mattress since you can't overinflate closed cell foam, obviously. But my guess is for lighter bodies, a reasonably thick high end foam pad can work for some people who find that a prolite type pad works for them. Big, bulky, has to be carried externally, yeah, but like roger notes, it's basically indestructable in terms of punctures and so on.
Lawson was talking about stocking some size or other but there's been no sign yet of that, I'm going to buy one if he gets a 1" that is not too heavy, say around a pound or so, and try it, I'd rather use ccf too, but I have to sleep at night, just is one of those weird biological things.