Around my neighborhood, I'm seeing lots of "real" singlespeed bikes: bikes that were designed and built as fast, light one-speed bikes. They are so popular that at some coffee shops, six or seven of the ten bikes outside are singlespeed bikes.
I have a 1983 Trek that was originally built as a light road bike, with a Reynolds 531 frame and fork. A previous owner took off its original "superb" SunTour Superbe six-speed drivetrain, and substituted an entry level indexed drivetrain.
Looking for a "cheap" (actually "free") method to try the singlespeed experience, I've taken off the gear changers, shortened the chain, and have the bike running in a 42 x 17 combination (67 gear inches). Of course, the OTHER five cogs are still there. If I wanted to run in 42 x 19, I can just loosen the quick release, move the wheel forward and move the chain, and refasten the wheel.
I've enjoyed the "hassle-free" aspect of this set-up. Just spin my legs and steer. And, I THINK (could be my imagination) that the bike is more responsive when I accelerate. I've never ridden on a "real" one-speed bike. So, I am wondering whether this sort of "cheapo" conversion really can provide the same riding experience as the bikes that are designed from the get-go as singlespeed bikes?