I read through all 10 pages (skimming through about four that were just a few posters going back and forth
), so I should post if only to say "I was here!"
I had the same prejudices as the OP until about 4 years ago. The only hsers I knew growing up were my cousins, and they were WEIRD. And this is coming from someone whose family was the weirdest at our PS. They (like us growing up) were Mormon, but REALLY, REALLY Mormon. End-of-the-world type Mormons. Lived off the land, girls wore dresses and did household stuff, boys did outside stuff. (And for the poster who questioned this, Mormons-even 'liberal' Mormons stress female modesty much, much, much more than male modesty. In a recent address to believers Mormon girls were even counseled to dress appropriately so as not to become living pornography.)
They had serious anger issues and had a beyond difficult time interacting with others-no matter the age. Of course these were not the norm for even hs'ing, but it was the only exposure I had to hs'ing.
Then about four years ago I was talking to a lady at my then-church who was trendy, cute, and "with it". (she was so trendy she was wearing knee high leather boots with two inch heels under her calf length just-this-season skirt only a few days after giving birth) She had pulled her son out of kindergarten over a year before because she sent him to school and "he came back dumber". She said that he went to kindergarten knowing ABC's, etc, but none of the other kids did and teased him because he did. She (who had NEVER considered hs'ing) pulled him out only a few weeks in and didn't plan on sending him back. So then I knew one kid who would be the "trendy" hser.
Around this time I also found out that my cousin was homeschooling. She's what would be considered "devout" Mormon, neither liberal nor over-the-top. Always attends, is very active in her ward, does everything that is asked of her and is all-around a fantastic person. She moved from Oklahoma to Utah in February and opted to finish out the year hs'ing instead of dumping her kids in a ps for a few months. She planned on putting them back into ps in the fall. She said that their behavior moved to a much more desirable level and the amount that they learned astounded her. She's never looked back. Her kids are the coolest kids my dh and I know. They're comfortable with anybody and are well-behaved (with enough detours to, like my husband says, "remind you that they're kids"). They run the gamut from geeky to tom-boyish to girly cheerleader, all in one family. My cousin is fond of saying "If you're geeky as a homeschooler, you would have been geeky in public school."
Besides, my DH was one of the "cool" guys in PS and he's the one pushing for hs. I was beyond "geeky" in PS and don't want that humiliating experience for my kids, so I'm all for hs'ing also. My kids will hopefully hang out with kids that accept them for being cool or geeky.