But wait, there's more: It's not the tire's fault! It was from a goathead!!!!!!
For a primer on the foul devil-seed, go here: http://www.flickr.com/groups/goatheads/pool
I picked this one up while riding up Alessandro (goathead hill) where I pulled up 10 or 12 large plants last month. Lots of little buggars around there.
It was quite a relief to see that it was a goathead! I felt the tire going soft the last mile or so on the way home and was bummed, but flats close to home aren't that big a deal :-) Got the wheel off, pulled the tube, and found the cause.
Nothing I want to ride withstands goatheads. Marathon XRs or Specialized Armadillos might be ok, but yikes, not fun at all to ride. Up to now, I've been riding on Panaracer/Rivendell Ruffy Tuffies, and those have had their share of goathead punctures. Pasela Tourguards do as well! I think the Col de la Vie 650b tires were the worst for me.
All that said, I have about 100 miles on the tires and am immensely happy with them. Have done maybe 20 of those miles on dirt, and no problems. As mentioned in the initial write up, the tires do great on dirt. The float over the loose sandy stuff pretty good, hold a line on singletrack, and best of all, really seem to give me more traction on technical climbing. On asphalt they role really quietly and seem to have incredibly low rolling resistance.
I think they're keepers!