I will tell you how it is with me:
I first encountered Buddhism via the Mahayana/Tibetan Buddhism route.
Much of the preliminary literature I read, was presented from a Mahayana Tibetan/Zen perspective.
had it not been for these, my travels would not have been so fruitful.
It took me a long time for me to decide where to pitch my tent and hoist my pennant.
In the end, after much deliberation and confusion (as many here will attest to) I swerved towards Theravada.
Why? Simply because there were some notions and ideologies in Mahayana I could not easily digest or accept.
This is not to say I considered them wrong, or bad, or even inaccurate.
It is merely to say that they did not sit well with me specifically.
But I take nothing away from that tradition, or path.
I am a cause of exaspertion to myself, in my ignorance of much scholarly knowlege, but my heart, I hope, is in the right place....
I have Mahayana to thank for giving me a good shove in the back and setting me rolling.
Poor Theravada - look what it's ended up with!!