The summer of '99 I got a first year SV650 for the street. On a Sunday morning in May 2000 it was catastrophically converted into a track day bike, ouch then Yay! Wasn't going to let a f'n fawn decide how long I rode a SV on on the street plus it was still the best bike on the market for me so I got a 2000. I don't know exactly, something like 40,000 street SV miles and 5k on the track, yeah, I got addicted.
There's weird bikes and cult bikes.i don't think strong sales disqualifies it.
Cult bikes as I see it,are owned by deeply devoted fans who laud and believe strongly
that their bike comes close to the ultimate nirvana ride.IMO
Last bike was a k5 strom 650 (slightly detuned motor from SV). I liked that bike, still makes me sad that it blew up unexpectedly.
Based on my experience w the 650 I would highly recommend the SV to a newer rider looking for a good sporty bike.