You seriously think that people that listen to your songs/demos talk about that? Really?
I agree. If I played one of the demo songs for any of my friends and family (without showing them the video of course), none of them would have any idea that it wasn't real guitar.
The point isn't what your friends and family think of it... they could probably care less whether there's even a guitar there or not -- that's not the focus of their listening. instead, the VSTi/sample/whatever has to convince (or "fool") other musicians. If not, then why all the over the top machinery to try to make realistic sounding guitars, saxes, basses, etc. in the first place? We could just be using naff ca. 1995 proteus patches for everything.
When musicians listen to music they often zone in on bizarre minutiae like: the pop of the snare, the tone of the lead guitar, the grittiness of the Rick bass line, etc. etc. Trust me, your friends and family don't care about the freaking "tone of the lead guitar" unless they are also musicians.
Reall world case in point: I saw a pretty good cover band in a bar recently and the drummer had this reaallllly nice sounding snare that just gave off a world class snare sound... it sounded so good that during their first break I was compelled to go up to the drummer and tell him how freaking awesome his snare drum sounded. Oh, and his drumming was off the hook too, yada yada
, but I couldn't get over that snare drum.
If I heard a tune with the strumming that is in the "Return" demo, the musician in me immediately says: something not right about that rhythm guitar, sounds like a VSTi. It just doesn't sound natural to me, just like most horn players can pick out synthy/fake/sampled sax and brass, etc. If it's executed properly with the VSTi, then your brain doesn't pick up on it. But you could say the exact same thing about being able to hear autotune -- if done properly, a vocal chorus shouldn't sound like a freaking synth pad, unless you're really trying to use autotune for effect. Fake sounds, it's all the same topic.
That is not to say that such a demo song is bad. Just that the sound of the strumming could be much improved with a better sample, a real guitar, etc. ... or just plain better execution with the existing tool (as in this case, IMO). I could also say the same thing about a muddy/non-impactful/fake-sounding sampled bass... or drums... or the real flaccid tone of a real lead guitar, for that matter.
Just my O, of course.