Re: "Like a Pixel without the pratfalls"... and presumably without the updates
Exactly what put me off HTC years ago. I had a HTC Hero and Sensation between 2009 and 2013 - the former got sod all updates despite many promises and the latter, while it did get occasional updates was beset by the random turn off problem (plus other updates/fixes promised by tech support that never materialised). IIRC the Sensation was EoLd about 18 months after launch in the UK - so you'd have been SOL if you bought it on a two year contract. I bought SIM free so cut my losses after about 20 months and went to something else which proved significantly more reliable (not perfect but streets ahead).
HTC may make some great Hardware (as evidenced by AO's various reviews) but that's nothing if the software support is utter shit (as evidenced by HTC's own behaviour over many years). And, no, I wasn't feeling confident enough to flash Cyanogen onto either handset - it shouldn't be necessary to do that just to make a £500* flagship phone usable (*Sensation June 2011 launch price).
From my POV, HTC's progressive decline is them reaping what they've long been sowing with respect to software support and updates. Such a shame for an early pioneer of Android hardware.