These actually seem to be causing a decent amount of lag for me, when too many are deployed around my character. It would be nice to shorten the life-span of them a bit, for that reason. I'm not sure if anyone else is experiencing the same thing..
Ye gods YES. The amount of lag they can cause in a confined space will bring the game to a halt, and I call that a tool of griefing. Happened to me at K7 last night. The exchange/bank room was so full of those stupid balloons that the game froze up on me. Tried to change instances, but "no possiblemaps."
The lag when you get too many in one place is really the only issue I have. After a point even a recent graphics card will start having issues. I have a decent card (GTX 550ti), but when a buddy and I were going bananas at each other in Club 47 it brought both our GPUs to their knees. I play on max settings, granted, but I weep for the people on lower end GPUs. Telling people they have to crank their graphics down just to enter a social zone and drop loot is a little ridiculous. Having them pop faster would mitigate that.
This is the best year yet with those things. I hope they don't change them like they did the thermal dampeners from the breen series. I think going crazy with those things would be fun on a more open zone anyway though. I'm going to start launching balloons off the mountain on risa. Tribbles too if I can remember what popper that was.