Simchas Torah is not my favorite holiday. The dancing does little or nothing for me. I am of an intellectual bent and dancing in a circle just does not give me simcha. I know that there are many people like me. I have a friend who when I showed him the Rav's machzor on YK his face lit up with joy. He was genuinely happy to see the new machzor and look at it. The same thing did not happen when he danced on Simchas Torah. People have to realize that not everyone is affected in the same way by certain things and allow for that. I get real simcha when I hear a good shiur on a sugya that I am learning, that affects me much more then any dancing on Simchas Torah.
In most shuls there is a group of people who take control and shlep things out for hours dancing and enjoying while many others just stand around waiting fro the hakafos to end. There are many people who feel like they are being held hostage. People try to make you fell guilty if you take a sefer and learn and you really can't sit down so it is an uncomfortable situation.
The fact is that the length of the hakafos leads to halachic issues:
1. In Israel, Mincha Gedola was around 12:00PM. Therefore, any shul that didn't start mincha before 12:00PM (many many shuls), had a shaila whether to daven mincha first of mussaf first. If you daven mincha first what about geshem, do you say mashiv haruach or not? UPDATE - I forgot to include (and the first commenter pointed this out) that lechatchela you should daven mussaf before the 7th hour which was about 12:40.
2. Where I live many shuls finished after 2PM. Shkia is around 5:15. That means we had 3 hours to go home eat the second seuda, daven mincha and then eat the 3rd seuda. Not very practical if a typical Yom Tov meal takes 2 hours.
3. This year was Shabbos meaning there was a chiyuv to eat a 3rd meal. Given that the second meal didn't end until after 4PM and then we had to daven mincha there was not much time or will to eat a 3rd meal.
4. Bitul Oneg Yom Tov. Even though many shuls have a kiddush during hakafos (to get around the issue of fasting) a few pieces of cake is not exactly satisfying. By the time 2PM rolled around my kids were starving (they didn't want to eat until their father came home from shul).
5. The same thing happens at night, davening ended around 9PM, my younger kids were either sleeping or half a sleep, basically they missed out on the Yom Tov meal.