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Actually, I'm guilty of posting a wry joke about diesels: High elevation, with its thinning air, becomes an impairment to the compression engine. It was meant in friendly jest, not to cause insult.
Actually, at high elevations a turbocharged engine is able to make up for the thin air by using higher boost levels to pump more air into the engine. I always remember a few years ago when at 13,000 feet in the western Colorado Rockies, I was passed by an early '80s Mercedes 300D Turbo Diesel which was evidently able to pull the grades with ease, while the naturally aspirated gasser V6 in our rental Pontiac Grand Am was clearly suffering. In the Rockies, almost every pickup truck is a turbo-diesel for exactly this reason.
At the end of the day, when people have spent many thousands of pounds / dollars / etc on a car, they've made a huge investment in it - both in terms of money and also emotionally. So it's natural to defend that choice.
If people with hybrids were to try out the modern diesels, I think they'd be impressed, and vice versa also - if the people in the TDIClub were to drive a hybrid for a year they'd also like them. While I have a TDi, I read the hybrid forums (here and cleanmpg) instead of the TDi forums since I think I can learn more from understanding a different type of car.
When the Europeans introduce a hybrid car I will be more than happy to try it. I am a European car fan first and foremost, and a diesel fan second. I even bought my Mazda3 because the German roots of its chassis make it much more of an enthuasist's car than any of its Asian or domestic competition. Conversely, the constant rumors of an upcoming Honda or Subaru diesel fail to excite me. Regardless of its fuel economy, low-end torque, or other diesel advantages, I'd be very skeptical of its driving dynamics behind the wheel.
Over here in the UK the hybrid movement doesn't seem to have taken up such momentum (mores the pity). With regard to alternativers though, the audi diesels are really popular over here - they give good mileage and are alot more economical than petrol alternatives. I am sure that hybrids will become increasingly popular over here as more models are released and consumer awareness really kick in.