Show me a simulation for a typical American sprawly city, one that actually WORKS on multiple lines, and I'll be on your side. Till then, it's all just recreational arguing.
Meanwhile, let's stick to ideas that have worked for others throughout the world. If you think that overhead pylons would be less "fixed in place" than a rail line or would take less room or wouldn't be subject to vandalism (I can easily see yahoos in trucks thinking it great fun to knock down one of those pillars), then you haven't thought this through.
Your bus experience is a matter of bad planning, most likely by people like the crew that runs Twin Cities Metro Transit, who one bus-dependent acquaintance characterized as "having contempt for the riders."
A good bus system has frequent service and express runs on all arterials, for one thing. I lived comfortably in Portland without a car for ten years, depending on a combination of light rail and buses.