Glad to hear I'm not alone in my initial assessment. I had read all these wonderful things about Ardbeg 10 on the internet and in Jim Murray's Whisky Bible. So you can imagine my surprise when I tipped the bottle for that first pour and out came something akin to diluted pee. And when I tasted it there was no heft at all--the whisky's appearance matched its body. I absolutely LOVE Lagavulin too and was looking for that kind of experience with the Ardbeg. But having spent nearly $50 (tax included) on the bottle, I owe it to myself to keep trying, though I don't see myself ever running out to buy another bottle when so many other killer whiskies can be had for the same price.
Compared to Lag or Laph, Ardbeg is lighter in color, however the peat is there in abundance. I still find the 10 a little less satisfying than other expressions. If you were lucky enough to find a 17, 21 or Lord of the Isles you might change your opinion. Comparing the 10 you'd have to compare to a Lagavulin 12 (Which I personally don't consider Lagavulin) or one of Robert Hicks' modern "dumbed down" Laphroaig expressions. He hates that term, but it is my opinion of what he has done to one of the worlds finest whiskys. However the subject is Ardbeg. Try another expression before you give up on it. The beast is a good one, and it is much more affordable than those mentioned previously.