It seems like this always comes up.........
Does it really matter?
If you love Aikido, go for it. If you do not, don't.
I personally think Aikido is far more martial than say Isshin Ryu Karate or Tae Kwon Do. I also feel it is less martial for todays world than Jujitsu, Jui-Jitsu, Muay Thai and Vale Tudo. But in all honesty, it doesn't matter what the majority thinks or I think, it matters what you as a practitioner think. If you think it is the best art out there for self-defense, then sweet, I am happy you have found your art of self-defense. . . . . . . . . .
not everyone studies Aikido for self-defense either.