I don't know why I was expecting otherwise, but I'm surprised this seems to be such a divisive weapon.
I've always found it to be one of the best. Its hit box for the swings is so large that it often hits the weakpoints of larger enemies and although I've read by some that they find its stun low, my experience with whip mode at least is that it's staggered quite a few of the monsters in the game.
I think the problem is that some people don't approach this thing properly. All it takes is a defensive mindset, a sense of spacing, and only targeting enemies sparingly. This thing I feel benefits tremendously off of manual aim. Its untransformed R2, the big poke, is a great attack to combo into from whip form with a transformation attack.
Weapon might benefit a lot from a secondary weapon option to switch to in order to fill in its shortcomings, but the utility of this thing's been consistently amazing to me these last three years.