The idea behind the Segway is a good one, but between the Presidential accidents, Polo games and supreme laziness, the Segway has developed a serious image problem. When people think "Segway" they think bike helmet-wearing super-nerds having an asthma attack while whizzing down the sidewalk at 12 mph. Not so with the following gadgets. Unlike traditional Segways, these personal transport vehicles only make you look tool-ish.
I've been a segway owner for about 17 months, and in that time I've put over 2700 miles on my segway and, yes, I do play segway polo. This perception of segway owners as 'geeky' or 'dorky' is a thing I have only noticed coming from 2 types of people: Other people whom the general population would describe as computer geeks and dorks (*cough*gizmodo/engadget editors*cough*) or 15 to 35 year-olds who think they are masters of the universe. Both these types of people seem to have this child-like-bully need to make themselves feel bigger and better than someone else, and they choose segway owners as one of those targets. On top of those people, Its really unfortunate how many people are ignorant about what a segway really is, how much engineering has really gone into it, and how great it really can be for a lot of people out there.
In meeting with and talking to probably over a thousand people about the segway over the last 17 months, close to 95% either don't know anything about it and are openly curious or they think its a really cool device. Its the other 5% who have the ignorant misconceptions about what the segway really is, what it can really do, and who the people are who ride them.
Bottom Line: Segways aren't "scooters" any more than a modern car is a horseless carriage. And it will take at least another generation before the american culture begins to really understand and accept them. But like most Segway owners I know, I don't care what other people think about me because of my form of transportation. I didn't buy a segway for other people's approval, or to have a cool toy, I bought it because it saves me between $200 and $300 each and every month that I use it (and public transport) instead of a car.