the only reason people don't like the 18t is because it has been around for about 8 years unchanged. there also isn't another 18th scale out there that handles as well, has the aftermarket support, and can go brushless without having to beef it up.
the 18t2 is a good racer, but isn't as durable in my opinion as the 18t, as it needs more maintenance and some guys (myself included) have had issues with the belt wear and tear.
I've had several mini's over the years, losi, associated, hpi, Dromida, Turnigy, and out of all of them, I've had my 18t the longest, then my turnigy 4wd stadium truck.
The Dromida is fun, but it doesn't handle the way that the associated, or the Losi mini's do. If you're planing on doing some on-road also, I would suggest either the rc18r (rally), because of the parts support to turn it into anything you want, or the LaTrax rally as it shares parts with the LaTrax teton, so you can turn it into an off roader, if that's what the kiddo likes.