Hi Colin, welcome out from under the rock
Actually mechanical key switches are very good, hence the popularity. Many people prefer the mechanical experience to the rubber dome type. They are also not necessarily that expensive if you go the DIY route or go with a cheaper brand keyboard. I use gateron brown which are very similar to cherry brown.
I was planning to try colemak as soon as I received the textblade but after getting fed up with waiting I started learning colemak anyway. I came to the conclusion that I needed an ergonomic keyboard as well and ended up making my own.
I've been using a home-made keyboard at home and work for almost a year now and I can say the I am typing faster and more comfortably than ever before. I program and write novels, (I just published another novel last week - 2084 : AI Carrot) so I would say that I use my keyboard for a wide range of typing activities.
The textblade may be around the corner, or we might be waiting a long time yet so in the meantime why not treat yourself, I suggest that you give mechanical keyboards a try, you just might like it.