The rotary engine doesn't "wear out too fast." If you look at the history, it was the 2004-5 models that had engines suddenly break and require replacing, because the user maintenance required is very different from what one usually does. You need to check the oil and refill it regularly (every 1000 miles or so), because the apex seals (the bits on the "points" of the rotor's "triangle") need a constant supply of oil, but there's no way to recapture that oil after it has entered the combustion chamber.
So early on, when the RX-8 wasn't as well known as it it now, people often wouldn't maintain it properly, and it would just die. The 2009-10 RX-8s are more reliable, having learned from the early issues, and now most owners realize you can't skimp on the oil (the cheap, non-synthetic stuff ... it's not expensive to add the oil, it just means paying attention and taking care of the car more than most people are used to.).
In practice, the rotary engine runs VERY smoothly, shifting from gear to gear with no jerks and only the tone of the engine changes. It's so smooth, they added a BEEP tone to let you know you're redlining the engine. Due to the small size of the engine, the weight of the car is distributed -evenly- between front and rear wheels, and the resulting maneuverability is astounding. It's not the fastest thing on the road, but it handles the curves with alacrity and the breaking distance is significantly shorter than most other vehicles in its class: you have to go to smaller, much more expensive sports cars to find a better breaking distance. In other words, its strengths with respect to performance are strengths that one can actually use in daily driving.