I think appies are a lot like mules. They are very smart, and clever in a way that makes people think they are dumb. Often because the horse has outsmarted the person.
You also "get" them or you don't. I love appies. As for the manes tails, and heads, it seems to be more so the foundation appies that have the sparse hair, and jug heads, but that is the breed itself. Appies were not ment to be spotted Qh's.
I own several appies, and they are very versatile.
Yeah, I tend to enjoy mane and tails on horses...tehehehe...although alot of the ones I've encountered have really good stamina, compared to other 'stock horse' type breeds. The appy I had last year could do figure eights and serpentines at a canter forever before having a desire to slow down (he was an ex gamer, and I was retraining him to be a trail/all around horse). But then, they were originally bred for hardiness and stamina...the spots were more of a 'bonus'!
I'm not a fan of the look of appaloosas and, as a hunter, I would never actively seek one out to buy, but I have had some great experiences with them.
My first show pony was an appaloosa and one of the ugliest ones I've ever seen: short neck, visible sclera, blue roaned, spotty thing, with no tail and a mohawk. He was a nasty little thing too, pinned his ears back whenever anyone walked near his stall and he needed a muzzle, but he was the best pony I've ever ridden! Smart, responsive, and honest. He could turn on a dime and had great form over jumps.
I would never write them off as a breed, all the ones I've known have been quirky, but wonderful and super intelligent.