I never had TTheory as a Smiler virgin, your on these message boards a lot I would of thought you'd have been on it.
As for the ride itself, its a fun ride no doubt about it. I remember the first time I queued for it, got the usual jitters but was left completely exhilarated after my first ride. Not so much now as I've been on it that much but the first ride of the day I attend towers is always the better experience, once you re-ride it your body becomes accustomed to it so to speak.
As for the v-lift that's nothing, I tend to hang my head over the side and watch the other train make its first inversion if dispatched correctly. I can't say it bothers me as much now as I don't spend a great deal of time in the room but if your waiting a while then the "correction block" is irritating, quite loud and warm. Dispatch, the gates open and if your lucky the smoke screen will be on then it's no turning back, down you go!