When I read that story I was stunned that so many people had difficulty loading film into a camera without a cartridge format. One person quoted in the story marveled that it could be "loaded in daylight." 120 film had been loaded in daylight for 50 years before instamatic came out! I think pretty much every roll film format can be loaded in daylight. It's not like ordinary people were still fumbling with loading LF sheet film into holders. My very first camera took a 110 cartridge, but manually loading an all manual 35mm camera was not in the least bit difficult to me as a pre-teen.
Sorry if it comes off as too ranty, I just think Kodak really outfoxed itself by trying to reinvent the wheel with these cartridge formats every decade. Sure, the original 126 was hip, but maybe if it wasn't a hit we would have been spared Disc, 110, & APS.
I dunno, I was born in 1980 and I cannot recall ever seeing 126 for sale in stores in the late 80s when I started buying film. In drug stores it was 110 and 35mm, in camera stores they also had 120 and sheet sizes. If 126 was such a hit, why stop pushing it in favor of successor cartridges?
If it was your first camera, then I respect there's room for serious nostalgia, but on the technical merits I don't see serious improvement in the pictures.
I guess my gut reason for not celebrating 126 is that I don't like waste. I feel like I want my camera to retain its utility as long as possible, and it was effectively abandoned by its creator before its time, maybe. I don't care for change for the sake of change, and Kodak seemed to do that a fair bit over the years. All the 126 people have my blessing. I guess you had to be there.