It takes me approximately 10 minutes to completely set up my AVX and polar align it well enough for visual use. It breaks down into several easy to manage pieces for convenient transport and I can use multiple OTAs with it. My adjustable observing chair and Baader Clicklock VB make it very convenient to observe with no matter how the mount is positioned.
I use both (GEMs and alt-az mounts). I prefer GEMs for their versatility, load handling capacity and less demanding balance characteristics. But alt-ax mounts do put the eyepiece in a much more consistent and comfortable range than do GEMs. You'll move your observing chair around the mount just as often as with a GEM, but will be adjusting your seat height far less often, which makes for a much more relaxing observing session. The problem is, there are no decent quality, medium load, tracking, GOTO alt-az mounts, which for me relegates the alt-az offerings to second class citizens in the mount world. Imagine if Losmandy or or even A-P decided to make a high quality, full featured, versatile, visual, GOTO alt-az mount capable of holding up to a C11 or better yet C14.
You nailed it. I really like my AVX, it sets up/torn down quickly (less the the 10 minutes someone quoted) and the tracking and goto are great. But I don't do photography so I don't really need a GEM. But there's no other alternative really. An alt-az would be much more intuitive. I think Losmandy and AP are marketting to photographers... Actually, I think most in the astronomy business are marketing to them, that's where the money is. Even the AVX is marketed as "Built with astrophotography in mind", which isn't really true.
Nice mount though, I don't regret buying it.
I have and have had both Alt-az and GEM mounts. I don't find using a GEM any less relaxing or any less intuitive. But, as with most things, YMMV. There's a huge personal preference component here.