The fluorescents (including Compacts) are marked in degrees Kelvin. The lower the number, the closer to the red end of the spectrum. Standards are 27K, 30K, 35K, & 41K (as in F032-835).
Although you can hold a light meter below them, and end up with the same reading, the customers always seem to perceive the higher (closer to blue) numbered lamps as brighter.
Some prefer the 27 or 30K lamps, as their light more closely resembles that of the precious "Soft White" incandescent.
There's nothing wrong with Compact Fluorescent lights, other than, like you say, the "hype" and BS that people are spewing forth.