I've always been disappointed in this malt, though I recognise that places me squarely in the minority. I guess when I go Islay, I want something big, deep, rumbling, and expansively challenging, whereas I always find Lagavulin's offering exceedingly refined and eminently drinkable. Sure it's smoke & it's peat, but it almost plays like a Speyside on the palate.
I've discovered that this is a big problem with people when it comes to whisky in that they try and pigeon hole an expected flavour profile into a specific region.
It's true that every region generally has a stamp of a particular profile but it's wrong to look at a sole region for that profile as you will find gems in other regions that give you exactly what you're looking for.
For example, there's some fantastic smoked/peated malts from the Highlands that are definitely worth checking out, and even in Speyside something like the BenRiach Curiositas will give you what you're looking for without being an Islay malt...
I suppose the solution, then, is to reach for the Lagavulin when I'm feeling something more Northern or Western Highlands, rather than Islay. Incidentally, I looked long & hard at the Ardmore Traditional Cask this weekend, before deciding against adding another mid-ranger to the cabinet.