Yet people do, I've even seen someone complaining that Cardiff wasn't like Dublin. People see Cardiff as a capital city airport and have unrealistic expectations.Heathrow is an unrealistic comparator for such people to use.
Personally I think even comparing to Bristol is unrealistic.
If what I'm told is correct the management at the time didn't feel Ryanair was important enough and feel vindicated as to their decision by attracting Aer lingus regional and were working with them to build up the destinations to Ireland with them. Many from that time seem uber critical of the loss of Aer Lingus regional and the Flybe deal and the airport in general.The 'noughties' owners of CWL let Ryanair go in 2006 because of a dispute over charges.