I got a free sample of the Tide Pods and I did not like them. I thought the scent was so overpowering, even after drying. The scent itself wasn't bad, but it was so noticeable that it bothered me. I used cold water in a front-loading washer, so I don't know if that made a difference.
I also don't think the convenience is worth the cost difference. I use less liquid detergent than recommended on the bottle, so the cost per load for me is much less.