This is a great debate to read and watch unfold, we obviously went through the same thing here.
My aged parents owned a general store at the time of our cutover and while I was off pretending to captain industry, when I went home I was expected to stand at the till and make change like everyone else. (No snobs allowed in our house).
People grumbled, people complained, but at the end of the day they used the coins. As things shifted, the unique loonie came to be a source of pride. There's a bird and a housekeeper on our coin and people are proud of it. In terms of coin management, it added nothing really. The pop machines took loons in short order and the airport vending machines were great, because you could stuff four or five in without rejections or worry. Before that I can't think of how many times I stood at the airport giving a stranger a crisp bank note for a rumpled one that wouldn't scan.
Overall, I like the loon, given the standard devaluation of currency all inflationary economies experience, it's just makes sense.