"Lots of people have told me they're just inferior to langs" -wff
wff- I have read the same from so many beekeepers on multiple boards. Most people admit that "they've heard" TBH's are inferior. I believe that Michael Bush hit the nail on the head with his quote "everything works if you let it" One could argue that a well managed TBH would produce better than a poorly managed Langstroth hive under the same conditions. I have done research on the web and in bee keeping books, and many claim that TBH's don't produce much or "as much" as a Lang. Perhaps that is true in certain circumstances, however I have read articles, and heard accounts about TBH beeks who have observed their colonies in TBH's, learned the science behind it, and work with the bees naturally to increase yeild. I personally plan to try both myself. Do my own comparisons. There are many aspects of TBH's that intuitively make sense to me. So, I'm going with that.
Sometimes I think that the quest for "more, quicker" gets in the way of what matters most. Of course, I am a hobbyist beekeepr, and not a commercial beekeepr depending on the production of honey for a living. But if raising bees in a natural way is cheaper, requires less work and is therefore more beneficial to both beekeepr and bees, why not...
I guess it's all about where you come from, and how you are taught to think! :-P