Replaced Nexus 5 with HTC One (M8) and have a few comments (along with questions)
When I got the Nexus 4, I thought I'd never get another Android device that didn't natively run stock Android. The bloatware-free experience coupled with the fact that save for a few qualms, I simply loved Android in the purest form more than any other mobile experience.
I became interested in the M8 primarily for the build quality and the speakers. I was not at all disappointed after a few hours owning it and the newness factor quickly wore off. It's very well built, though on the heavy side and the speakers are absolutely insane! The camera is fine. A couple of gimmicky, features that sometimes work, sometimes don't but overall, it gets the job done for typical smartphone camera usage.
Sense is nowhere near as bad as I expected it to be and as a matter of fact, I mostly liked it. So much so that I've been considering keeping the phone stock at least for a little bit to get more of a feel for it. It's clean, quite beautiful and I think HTC's software design team are on a level closer to Apple's than all of the competition. The Sense-touched applications like email and calendar and very aesthetically appealing though I disabled a lot of them in favor for alternatives simply because I was used to them.
On the subject of disabling apps, I got the T-mobile version (which comes with no T-mobile branding which I love) and over the first few moments owning the device, I disabled around 20-30 apps/services/widgets. I have the intent of disabling more but I need to do some research and see what the impact would be. There's a lot of crap that comes on the device and it was the absolute biggest reason I fell in love with the Nexus line. But the bloat and gimmicks of the HTC device are still not as bad as what Samsung has traditionally done to theirs. I'd say it's a somewhat tolerable level of bloat but I still think nearly 8GB/32GB being used for a stock mobile OS is absolutely ridiculous.
I repeat, I really like Sense 6 and I'm intent on keeping it for now while someone releases a reliable method to fully convert a carrier GSM M8 to a full-blown GPE edition, recovery, partitions and everything; not just a ROM. That said, is there a method to do this yet? Also, HTC Backup is an application that appears to work like iCloud but all of my research hasn't turned up anything solid enough to answer my question. Does it backup application data? For instance, my game saves? That's my biggest concern now. LastPass is so amazing now that it logs me into most of my other mobile apps so the hassle of recovering from a complete wipe isn't so much of a pain, but that still leaves game saves which is important to me. Before you say it, I don't want to root anymore (and Helium doesn't always work well. And since Google has STILL yet to implement a total backup solution that covers more than just their products, backups remain my biggest gripe against Android.
Anyhow, I've wrote enough. Any input on my two questions (1. convert to GPE and 2. HTC Backup) is appreciated. Also, please feel free to comment on your thoughts of the device. Thanks.