I know this will sound strange, but I really wanted to not like the bars - the cost per calorie, the feeling that RL may have lost its sense of direction of low cost healthy future food...
I love them. Yes they are sweet but not overly so, they are indeed salty but not overly so. For me it's a great balance between sweet and salty that a caramel flavor should have. The rice crispy type texture when you bite into one is nice, it gives it more substance.
I can see why people don't like them. For people that have been long time followers, Soylent was supposed to have a neutral flavor. The bars are most certainly not neutral.
I just hate how much I like them, $2.00 per bar is simply too expensive. These are not on the level of college affordability like the powder is, you could even justify the cost of 2.0, but $16.00 for 2,000 calories is disappointing.