You know, when someone rags on judo as being a "just a sport" or some such, I *really* have to restrain myself from saying something naughty. I've been lucky to attend nothing but non sport judo schools. (this last one is kinda borderline - sporty, but not overtly so)
However, even doing aikido, I still get the general impression that aikido is as you described it. No idea why. Perhaps aikido as a "martial art" is harder to find then judo as a "martial art"? (I suspect the lack of chaotic, resisiting randori in aikido until later in the training plays a part in this perception?)
Plus - I'm a newbie to aikido, so ... grain of salt.
Anyway - if I listened to what others said, I wouldn't be keen on aikido or judo. Nor kendo, nor savate or any of the other so called "unrealistic" arts.
In the end, you do what you enjoy.