Re: Different Styles of Aikido, same smiles?
This is exactly why it is so important, as a newbie, to go audit several dojos, and decide where you are drawn to: the style or affiliation matters so very little, and what really matters is how it all feels.
In fact, that should still apply as we "age", but somehow gets forgotten.
Your question of what draws people to particular styles is valid for those who are looking to start or are looking to change. Once on the path of your choosing (remembering that it is, after all, all Aikido) look around every now and again and ask yourself if it is still where you want to be, but it is the perseverance in any given style that will likely be the most important thing.