Thanks, Jim — this was most generous of you.
Believe it or not, I too am a card-carrying Liberal; from the mid-60’s.
Since the early 1990’s, I decided that any creature who could “love me in return”, deserved — nay, required; better treatment.
While Hagerty’s pages may not be an actual social-media site; the exchange of information, and even some personal ideas, is surely welcome in these times... we truly ARE a Community.
After all was settled, I explained to said salesman that, unless they start making heating and cooled rear seats the standard, parents like myself will continue to avoid leather. Sure you cool my butt up front when the seat is hot, but my 3 and 5 year old kids, well when the backs of their legs hit that hot rear leather when dangling down from their child seats, they are not so happy. I know someone (their kid goes to daycare with my youngest) whose kid actually burned themselves bad enough on a hot leather seat that they had blisters. What are we supposed to do, not let kids wear shorts in the summer so that daddy and mommy can have so-called "luxurious" seats. Screw that I say. Give me the cloth all day long, with ScotchGuard because of the kiddos.
In the cars I had in my younger days, the non-leather seats were trash. They ripped and wore out much faster than any of the leather interiors that I have had over the past 25 years. I see no pluses to any other covering.
As far a heated seats goes, they are great. In the vehicles I have owned, if they were supplied without heated seats, it was only the controls that were missing. It was easier and less expensive for all of the seats to have the heater net in place whether or not it was used. I can't speak to cooled seats as I have never seen a need. Plus, the heated seats usually some with a package that gets a front windscreen and outside mirror heating system. If you don't live where there is ice, I guess it doesn't have much value.
I guess it is an issue of what car you are buying. Most of what I have purchased for the past 30 years would be impossible to order with anything other than leather. You would have to go after market and the seat covers replaced. Now who is paying more?
I'm sorry, but well made leather seat covers give you all of the comfort and are not slick. You really need to try a well made modern leather seat. They have none of the issues you described. You don't slide on them and they don't burn after the vehicle has been sitting in the sun. I think you have just been exposed to junk leather seats covers.