Having attended ambient/EM concerts in and around the L.A. area since the 90's and having a wife who plays ambient/EM music (Lucette Bourdin) it seems to me that the expectations of a concert depends somewhat on temperament. Our culture values action, the more visible the better, and is basically extroverted in its expectations and most things internal are deemed 'unreal' or not 'real work'. Yet we are changed, as a culture, a great deal by those inward seeking individuals, the introverts, like Jung, Einstein, Ingmar Bergman, etc. For myself the contrast and compare I have read in this thread seems pretty much the same (outside of musicianship). A great deal of EM is not intended for extroverted viewing but for inward quiet and so, for me, regardless of the laptop or synths or patches or amount of reverb my criterion is how deep or how 'out' (in space) did the artist take me. Sometimes the CD version does it better and sometimes the artist is inspired and the live concert exceeds all expectations in depth and height. Being an introvert I just don't go for a 'show' and that suits me; an extrovert may have different expectations. There is no one size fits all.