Time passes. I can recognize the difference between sugar and high fructose corn syrup, the usual sweetener found in regular soft drinks which are bottled or canned. And HFCS doesn't do it for me. So, some time ago I cut cans and bottles of regular soft drink out of my diet.
Time passes. Now there's acesulfame potassium (ace-k), sucralose, and Stevia, and if you try hard you can apparently get cyclamates. If you remember a few months back, Coke's new big thing was C2, which was half the calories of regular Coke... they replaced half the sugar with aspartame. For some reason they thought it would be worth a premium. Uh. Maybe with something better than aspartame. Maybe. I dithered.
Now there's Diet Coke with Splenda (which I think has some ace-k), Coke Zero (aspartame and ace-k) and bunches of other options. Well, at this point, I'm wholly into the noncaloric sweeteners. Maybe that's bad, but nothing has happened to me yet.
Mini-review of beverages:
Jones Diet Root Beer (sucralose): pretty good. A little less "harsh" than I'd like a root beer to be.
Stewart's Diet Root Beer (aspartame): eh. nothing to write home about.
IBC Diet Root Beer (aspartame): better than the Stewart's, but I prefer the Jones. It's probably the sucralose.
Jones Diet Black Cherry (sucralose): I've probably had a case of it in the last week. Good stuff.
Diet Coke with Splenda (sucralose+ace-k): the closest diet Coke to regular Coke, but still not perfect. acceptable.
Coke Zero (aspartame+ace-k): decent. I think the above is better.
Minute Maid Light Lemonade (aspartame+sucralose+ace-k, 5 calories per can): I gotta get a case more of this, I'm almost out. It's great.
Diet Cheerwine (sucralose): a friend brought me a case of bottles from DC when he was here. Yum. Not quite as good as the real Cheerwine, but I think it's great. I'm going to be out soon, sadly.