Thanks to a reader for these thoughts...
Still happy with the ride, not so happy with the ticketing process. Seems like too few machines per stop. Understand that two or three is probably fine during non-rush hours, but when there's a rush and people have to line up for the machines, they get frustrated.
This is exacerbated when (1) a machine is broken, (2) you're waiting for the ticket to print--altogether would say that the actual ticketing process from time you press button until when you get the receipt takes >3 times as long as sticking a card in bus Metrocard reader--(3) people get especially frustrated when the bus comes but they are still lined up to get a ticket--old habits die hard, and people feel like they should be able to just walk on the bus and use the reader, and (4) the bus closes its doors and leaves while you're waiting to get a ticket from the sidewalk machine--have only seen this happen when another bus is coming right up, but it sure feels bad.
MTA seems to be dealing with by running extra buses and/or placing empty buses where they can fill in gaps--e.g., if you see a bus at 14th and 1st SE corner with "Next Bus Please", it's probably an SBS bus waiting for a delay, and the dispatcher at 14th Street stop will occassionally call up (seems like they can also get called up to stops farther on the line).
Again, the ride is faster--and probably will get even better as there's more enforcement of the bus lane. But the above is frustrating, and although was once a believer in the sidewalk ticketing, a bit more of a skeptic now. Time will tell.