I’m less than a year in and (after playing Vega for most of my first 6+ months) I am now pretty sure that I’m going to main with Akuma and stick it out for the long haul.
As to the regard that it teaches you bad habits (or that he is a character for those that don’t know how to play lol!), I really don’t see how. The LAST thing you want to do with Akuma is throw out random demon flips or to go around jumping all over the stage; You simply do not have the vitality to be making bad jumps or to be sloppily aggressive. You want to occasionally use neutral jump air hadoken as a zoning tool, but only when you can semi-confidently make a read on what your opponent is going to do pressure-wise (as well as mix it up by neutral jumping and not firing the hadoken and either landing to a dash/teleport/block or coming down with a mk). You use forward jump air fireball as a wakeup pressure tool (which is the only place you should be using your demon flip, really, if you’re playing a smart opponent). And you rarely, if ever, want to use the backwards jumping one – especially now that it has extra recovery. My opinion, anyway. I’ve been training to play much of the neutral game as if I were Ryu/Evil Ryu (not completely of course, i just mean keeping it simple and trying to stay on the ground and win the footsie game with the amazing walkspeed and far hk). But if you’re jumping more than a few time a round, while you’re opponent is standing, you’re just asking for it.
His real advantage lie in: 1. in his wake up game, where Demon Flip shines and what it was meant for: keeping the opponent guessing whether they’re getting hit front-high, back-high, back-low, getting thrown from the air, or getting thrown from the ground. and 2. He can end most rounds in 3-4 combos (combos that you can start off a cr. lk or s. lp, OR after a wakeup jump-in kick. His biggest weakness is the same. You can be KOed in about 3 good combos from most players (probably even 2 depending on character/meter); and if you’re playing someone with a solid vortex game that means you can lose a lot of matches the second you get hit by a single normal. It’s fun and challenging to take Akuma.
I’m a newer player and I don’t have much trouble at all doing s.hp -> teleport --> u2 (you can actually end the teleport motion in up, so that the actual teleport registers your first UP+kkk; then just add a quick UP+kkk) or doing s.hp -> red focus hit, dash -> u1 or u2 (you have to teleport to do u2 here, too, and do it QUICK). You can’t combo into the super but it’s excellent as a punish and when used in close quarters kara’ed from FORWARD+mp.
It’s BS that Akuma lends to bad habits or that he’s for people that don’t want to learn the game (and I agree I’d like to see a source from that cuz I’m not buying it). You really want to play even more humbly and carefully than you would with Ryu. You’re going to want to develop some bad habits, because they WILL be effective against the CPU or against low-level opponents, but that is the case no matter which character you choose! YOU have to have the willpower to stay smart, to not abuse anything that isn’t absolutely safe – in fact you have to be that much smarter and more quick-witted than your opponent, because in 43 out of 44 matchups they start the match with a life lead and you can be KOed very easily.
If you want to take him, take him. It takes some dedication and you won’t get any lazy or gimmicky wins, but it is a lot of fun and very satisfying to learn. That being said you are NOT going to be able to pick him up right away and win every online match you play – It’s going to take some patience and lots of time in training/playing CPU.