A tattoo to me is like something etched on to say, a pristine natural landscape. No matter how tasteful it is, it wears on the senses like an alien thing. So no, and no.
This is amusing to me, coming from a user calling himself trystero. I have the muted post-horn tattooed on my arm.
Tattoos aren't too bad, but with everything these days, everyone goes overboard with them. I only have the one. It can be seen when I wear short-sleeves, but it's fairly innocuous. It took me almost two years to finally decide to get it. For most other people though, it seems as soon as they get the idea for one, they make the appointment immediately. I know a guy with a ridiculous sleeve tattoo, including a koi fish on his forearm, a lobster with a crown on the underside of his forearm, and on his bicep/shoulder he has an octopus wearing a top-hat and a monocle. I just don't get that. Most people are acting out or trying to be "unique" when they get in to that territory.
Tradiddle: I think you've just had really shitty luck. My mom has around seven or eight tattoos (entirely too many for a fifty year-old woman, but anyway) and they all look very good, including her portrait tattoo. Most artists can't do portrait tattoos, and when they do they're awful. Her's looks pristine though. She's had a different artist for nearly each one as well, and only had a problem with one of them. You definitely ran into the wrong people. Especially the guy who got pissed because you were talking to him. I talked to my tattoo artist the entire time she was working and she didn't have the slightest problem. Sounds like that guy was just awful and he needed an excuse.