I was given my first Golden Dollar yesterday, and I can attest to the sentement that people tend to see them as collectors items. I got two for change yesterday, and today I needed a dollar for something; all I had was the two GD's on me, but instead of using them, I went to the ATM instead.
The thing is that the Golden Dollar is the first coin I've seen in a long time that is actually artistic. Not since I saw my first Canadian Toonie have I thought that about a piece of coinage. Maybe this worked too well.
The Loonie worked in Canada because you want spend them to get the bloody heavy, big and ugly things out of your pocket. The GD, however, is small, light and pretty... sure, we'll start using them as money soon, but it will be a lot like when the first of the commemorative State Quarters came out -- it took quite a while for people to start using them as 'real' money.
Of course, the GD has problems too -- they tarnish far too easily (as others have said), and they scratch easily as well and since the insides are not AU-coloured, you get unsightly silver scratches that make the coin start to look like, well, ass.
The Golden Dollar, however, is a 'plus' in my book if only for the reason that you don't have to worry about a vending machine no accepting your dollor coin because it has a crease in it. If you have wrinkles in your coinage, you've got worse problems...