People have discussed this to death already. Hawk is low tier for 1 reason only - he does not have enough options - Top tier characters have the most. His whole game IMO is based around his LP SPD and the ability to mind fuck your opponent (and characters that require mind games to be effective come up short becasue not every trick you want to use comes off…the other player is trying the same thing!). If he cannot get this going at least a couple of times in a round then he normally struggles. It is easy for your opponent to shut you down becasue they know what you want to do and playing lame makes your task that bit harder.
I really don’t get the facination with who said what about what characters. If you really had time to ask Daigo, Mago and any top Japanese players they would give you the answer you should be looking for…pick the character you like playing, you want to learn with, and have an association with. Mago in his latest Arcadia interview said it best. This game allows for player skill to make up gaps in match ups - that is something that should be paid attenton to. Hawk has some horror shows no doubt, but these are matches you need to learn and it sounds dull, but you need to minimise your opponents options, but keeping it ultra safe. There will always be high and low tier but do you see people telling Kuroda that in 3rd Strike when he destroys them with Q?
On the flip side if you asked top US players, they would say he sucks plain and simple. They would tell you to stay away from him plain and simple. The attitude is different and this is one of the many reasons Japan leads the way. They want to be competitive, but they also pick characters they like, who they then go to town on learning and this builds a bigger and stronger base of players and match up knowledge. Someone on here said that J Wong would never loose to a Hawk player - send him to Japan after the arcade release and I’m sure a dedicated Hawk, Hakan, Gen, Guy…etc could give him real headaches.
I have loads of reasons I play Hawk - I get to learn stuff knowbody told me about, He is a new character to SF4 series, I have to learn the match ups again, When I win with him it gives me real satisfaction as I know I completely outplayed my opponent. Lastly and as an alt reason, I have one eye on the future. Capcom will rebalance this game after the arcade release and they will want to get some of the lower level guys up to scratch…Hawk being one of them.