jlap - my experience was very similar to yours. I also had several batches where, at least in first generation, the fermentations were slow and drawn out (yes I made appropriate sized starters - this ain't my first rodeo
) - but they eventually finished. I did not like the aromas I was getting and agree it seemed to drown out or mute the hop aromas in the APA, Amber, IPA and RIPA I made with it. Then again, I also pick up some mild fruitiness from WL051 that I don't like either.
However, I found that it is absolutely fantastic in porters and stouts (haven't tried brown ale with it) - perhaps because the low fruitiness is more welcome in these styles since they are less late hop driven than the latter mentioned styles and thus the slight reminiscence to British versions is welcome?
I dunno - I won't be using 1450 in Pales/IPAs anymore, but will continue in darker ales - yum!