This "bad taste" of diesel in the US is exactly why diesel doesn't sell here.
The truth is that modern diesels, with urea injection and particulate filters, are as clean as modern IC gas cars. Think of the advances in IC gas motors over the past 30 years (unleaded fuel, cleaner burning, more hp, more mpg, more reliability). A modern diesel has more torque and thus when properly setup is more efficient than a modern high-rev gas car.
However Cali, NY, VT, and a few other states have a "diesel ban" that currently makes modern diesels, like the MB Bluetec, only 45-state legal. Once they settle the regs regarding the urea injection, we will see more 50-state diesels.
The smelly diesel truck and bus problem is a combination of the vehicles being old and poorly maintained and the high-sulfur diesel fuel we sell. I would like to see more strict regs and/or enforcement for commercial diesels but that's unlikely. You will probably, at some point, be stuck behind a modern diesel on the trail that smells, but it will be because the owner did (or didn't) do something, or something is wrong. For what it's worth, I get stuck behind some gas cars that are smelly because they got shot valves and are burning lots of oil.
Anyway the prejudice against modern diesels is certainly not without cause, but it is mostly based on history and misconception.
92 YJ - 4.0 w/ auto
Plain ol' worn out stock suspension
Winter gear = factory hardtop/full doors
Summer gear = CJ soft top/soft doors