I ended up with one of each- a w/t/c horse (a Mustang whose walk is very slow) and a gaited horse (a Missouri Fox Trotter who walks very fast), so I could ride comfortably with my friends.
What really annoys me about some gaited horse owners is that they expect you to keep up with them. Why not the other way around? Would it hurt them to slow down once in a while? And then if I DO keep up with them, by trotting to catch up, their horses just get more excited and go faster. Grrr!
But those are complaints about the owners, not the horses. I LOVE gaited horses, as I love horses in general. My Fox Trotter is a lot of fun!
I don't think circling back is all bad. I do that sometimes with my Fox trotter when I am riding with Quarter Horses, and I used to do that all the time when I owned a particular Arabian who always wanted to GO. We were always circling back for people. But I think being on the fast horse and circling back is less work than being on a slow horse and trying to keep up. That is a lot more work in my opinion.
I would say just enjoy your horse, circle back if you need to, and just enjoy her the way she is.