I'd have to agree that conical stylus Shure 15s were used primarily by pros and archivists, who eschewed Shure's other broadcast cartridges to buy V15s, but who also knew that a conical stylus will wear out 10-15% slower than an elliptical stylus. It also didn't hurt the situation that most of the radio pros worked in environments with severe bandwidth limiting, so high distortion at 14KHz didn't matter. Archivists were often playing 45s or microgroove 78s for posterity, and so they also didn't worry about high frequency distortion, because if there really are no high frequencies, there can't be any high frequency distortion. Denon made the Denon 103 series of broadcast cartridges because they were selling to radio businesses who knew the cost of 15% less stylus wear. So Denon 103Rs had conical styli.
This "cult following" I read about often works like this. A radio station engineer finds a way to 'STEAL" a phono cartridge from the radio station or perhaps the DJ says it would help to audition records with the same cartridge the radio station uses. Then friends visit the engineer/DJ and want to have this same cartridge for themselves, so they buy a few (status in this case is more important than audio fidelity). Since every person on the block has a V15 with an elliptical stylus, the status seeker stands out by saying they have something different, and they can even confirm that So-and-so the DJ uses the exact same cartridge (which is true, except that the radio station person isn't concerned about fidelity, and they get records nearly for free or free, and so record wear isn't important either).
Sometimes a V15G distributor had 200 in stock and went out of business. At the auction, a retailer buys them all. Then the retailer says that not only does the local radio statio use this cartridge, but so do many personalities (all of which can be achieved with freebies. I know because I saw audio company promo budgets for give-away products.) This makes for a "cult of product", which translates into the use of a product known not to be as good as another product for other reasons, and then promoting the users of the product, not the quality of the product. If an auction priced V15G at $15 sounds better than a Stanton 500A, at $15, that's nice, but it doesn't mean the V15G sounds as good as the V15 elliptical. If the V15G sounded better than the standard V15 with an elliptical stylus, then the V15G would be renamed the standard V15, and previously labeled V15 would get some name like the V15 E Special or some such, and it would be sold on technicalities, not sound quality.
Hundreds of "cult" items I was asked about often had conversations that went like this;
I'm in a booth at one of the 25 CE Shows I worked at. Someone says something like, "What do you think of the Blah-Blah brand/model cartridge?". My answer is something like, "It's not very good." Then the question person says something like "But So-and-so uses it". If So-and-so is a music-making personality like a singer, I could say, "Sure, but So-and-so would recognize their own voice over a tin-can telephone, and it isn't So-and-so's job to know what cartridges have good fidelity or not.
It gets worse if So-and-so is a conductor or band leader because there is no comparison between being a band leader tuned into what is turning on the audience, or a conductor listening in a record booth, and whether these people know anything about whether a phono cartridge has true fidelity or not. I learned this when I sold phono cartridges retail, to band leaders and orchestra conductors and I realized they usually bought lousy phono cartridges because it didn't matter to them. If they can hear live music that is made into records, they only use their own audio systems to listen to Other Musicians (or maybe they listen to tape dubs of yesterday's session to change arrangements or something). It was like pulling teeth to get most orchestra conductors to play their own records when I would visit to install a new amplifier or speaker system.
Obviously I'm leaving for last the people who were paid to say "I own a blah-blah and I consider it one of the best phono cartridges in the world". I always told question askers, if I knew that someone was paid off, to say some product was good (often the endorser had never heard the product, to show you how corrupt this all is. These endorsers often sold to unsuspecting people, the one phono cartridge of this type they got simply to fulfill the "Truth in advertising" stuff.
Once I had a friend who wanted one of these cartridges for his college student son. I bought it from a guy who endorsed the product, but knew it was about 1/20th as good as the cartridge he was already using. I paid by check and kept the canceled check as a souvenir. When someone at a CE Show asked the question about a phono cartridge and when he didn't like the answer, he showed me his give-away copy of Audio mag with the ad for the cartridge, I showed him the check and the cartridge, and offered to sell it to him for 5x retail. He bought it even though I showed what I paid for it, and told him it was a lousy product. All he cared about was that So-and-so had owned it (although didn't listen to it).
My advice is to find out out what print audio magazine reviewers (not cult audiophile mags) use in their own systems, and then ignore what they say in magazine reviews about other products and just buy what they use. Final note: I worked mostly for speaker companies and when I did that, I didn't comment about much about other speakers. But people never asked either, because they assumed I'd say "Any brand but the company I work for is terrible." If they asked what brand of speaker was, perhaps not ask good as the brand I worked for, but since they didn't like/couldn't afford my brand, what was nearly as good (but possibly less expensive, or somethings else)? Usually I just told them honestly. I could also say, "I don't like brand So-and-so." If pressed I could always say "It is considered poor business etiquette to bad-mouth some else's product, but since you can hear the differences, just by comparing them side-by-side, you will know when you hear for yourself."
Most people don't want to listen allot and study what they are hearing, so they know for themselves why one product is better sounding than another. They wanted me to say that "Well, if So-and-so says they use a certain phono cartridge, and they say it's the best in the world, then it must be." Expecting someone who knows allot about sound to say that, is ludicrous (and that's why they came to ask me questions; because other people at CE Show had told them I knew allot about sound [or those people who sent them to me were sadists, which I'm guessing was 50% of the time]). One thing I never did was to answer the "death" question; "What's the best audio ANYTHING?". Nothing is perfect. I stopped making fun of people after the 30th time I heard that question and just said, "Many ______ (you fill in the product type) are good, none is the best". In reality, none of the inquirers could afford the best of anything, which I found out when I told them, if there really was a "Best" audio product.
Today, people still ask me about whether Such-and-such is a better audio product of it's type, than something else. In many cases it is obvious, but when it isn't, I always ask, "why do you ask?" Usually I can understand if someone is trying to dump this item on the inquirer, or they read too much advertising or something. If it is just a well meaning question (usually because they are getting a low price), I can then say, simply and plainly, "No, it's not better than what you have already". If they need more than the briefest explanation, I tell them to listen to the 2 items side-by-side. If people don't want to bother themselves to understand why one thing is better than another, I won't contribute to their laziness.