First, allow me to say that I understand what you are trying to say (as a whole) and how you're trying to approach things. (It's from a good place IMO). However, the exchange hinged on a simple misunderstanding. Hopefully I can help make things a bit clearer for you, or I'll try to at least, and hope that I don't offend in the process. It's definitely not my intent. Only trying to clarify.
The instant that you sub a single ingredient (even the same name, but by a different manufacturer), you're technically no longer making that person's recipe. That "technicality" is the "simple" misunderstanding. A single flavor changing can (and often does) fundamentally change the flavour profile of a recipe. So you're no longer comparing it to "what it should taste like" because you'll never achieve what it should taste like since you've had to make a substitution. That's what I believe Ringling was trying to say.
Alisa, being her kind and modest self, was also not taking offense. Not only because she understands what you're trying to do, but she also clearly points out that it's not the same animal at all once subs start happening.
No one was trying to bust your balls, or show you a lack of respect. He wasn't trying to be rude either. All I saw was him ask if you have made the original, which I took as trying to Guage whether you were familiar with what the original recipe tastes like. Even though "it hasn't rocked my socks" is in effect putting a judgement on something out sounds like you might not have made yet.
I know that it was for quite a while one of my favorites. But like yourself, I had to do a bit of subbing. I still happily give her both credit, and appreciation for the original, even though it wasn't until sometime later that I actually got the proper components to make it 100% verbatim. Further complicating matters, there was a single flavor in there somewhere that didn't physically agree with me. So I have had to leave that as a sub (since I finally worked my way to it in SF tests and found the culprit). But until I made the original, I couldn't fully appreciate the various shifts in flavor that I had been doing. I know this now. Alisa knows it (which is why she's modest, as well as gracious for folks trying it, and the variants). And Ringling knows it (which is why he asked if you'd made it according to the recipe).
So while you were in fact, on the right track with trying to see how you could adjust your approach (within your current needs, flavor availabilities, etc), you also were inadvertently slightly unfair to ask for opinions about mocha taste, and bust a nut in the same breath. Because you're not making bust a nut. Though it's a close variant!
As for the super sweet bit. I'm glad you picked up on the sucralose thing a bit. But just to round out the picture:
TFA Sweetener = 5% sucralose
FW Sweetener = 10% "
Cap super sweet = 20% "
I hope that you continue to feel welcome, as you are. But know this is a very forgiving group. Lord knows I've stepped in it a time or two, Dust yourself off, you've already apologized, and take it for what it is. A learning experience! We're all human, and this place more than most understands that, and more importantly respects that.
@CallMeTut FWIW, I agree with Ringling! FW Bav. Cream trumps TFA.