I've read through blogs, articles and misc. web-posts on pu'er over the last year, especially in the few short months that I have been a member here. I have noticed that on the larger pu'er blogs and websites available in English, the subjected tea is almost exclusively the compressed type. In fact, I cannot off hand recall a single English language post on loose leaf pu'er on any commonly mentioned tea-blog either here, or from what I've found on Google. I know they exist, but what I am saying is they are in such minority that I'd have to go looking.
Since joining here, I've noticed the large popularity of compressed puer, and decided to check it out. Prior to this, I had been (and remain) skeptical as to the reasoning for buying compressed cakes.
The foundations of my know-age are rooted in TeaGuardian's discussions, particularly this page: The Nature of Compressed Teas
It all seems to make sense, which has always had me wondering why the big puer aficionados in the Angloblogosphere favored the compressed stuff so. It doesn't seem like they'd age as evenly or as well as something loose. The only reason I got my first tiny cake is because it looked neat - before that, I had only used small, pre-measured dose style blocks (c. 3.5g).
So, what's the draw?