(Core Set Perspective)
Melange. It sounds like a wibbly-wobbly dessert. It conjures images of cinnamon from the memory of that time you read that Sci-Fi book. In a world of wild cyber-colour, it seems to embody grey, dullness and drudgery. It's also one of your few economic options in the Core Set, and will likely be the piece in your money-making engine that sends you down one of two paths - one where you say 'Right, so how can we make this work...' or 'Screw this. Bring me naked men.'
The thing about Melange is it's tricky, it's demanding, it's fragile, and it's quite possibly just shi*t.
A full turn's worth of clicks is a huge halt on your progress in other areas (a 'tempo hit' in cool, experienced runner parlance). Taking a full turn to use means you also have to have it down the turn before, leaving it vulnerable. And hoo-boy, at 1 to trash, is it vulnerable; one of the most casual targets in any server the runner cares to target, in fact.
"A steal here...an access there...oh and sure, I'll destroy that multi-billion credit mining enterprise while I'm at it." - All the Runners
I like the idea that Melange's health and safety standards are so terrible that someone dinking the walls with a small hammer could cause an industrial catastrophe.
So you've had some bad experiences with it. It's been largely underwhelming, a liability even, and you're thinking of shelving it. But then you stop, and you look at that 7 it promises you, and you remember the early times (when neither of you knew what you were doing) when it did pay off, and you start trying to justify it, and, in the Core Set, at least, those justifications can sometimes make sense.
1 for net 6 is nothing to sniff at (hazardous moon-dust particles aside). Play it behind a mass of ice and threaten a second time for the full 7, and you'll be practically forcing the runner to stumble through your (hopefully glorious) gauntlet of cyber-nastiness, draining them of time, money, and possibly the will to live. Play it in open, have the runner ignore it (because it's obviously a trap), then make them look like a tit. Install something else in the open after that, and this time make it a Snare(!). Oh-ho! Such tears. So evil. So fun. So Netrunner.
So, yes, there are ways (at a casual level, at least) to make this card playable and in some cases actually goo. Never mind that you've put that whole 'winning' thing on hold. Never mind that in a well-tuned deck you'll make only slightly less money for far less effort. Never mind that you've put it in your scoring server, just drawn a game-ending Priority Requisition, your HQ is guarded by a single Ice Wall and the runner has that look in their eyes. It has potential for both making loads of money and psyching the runner out, which when combined with some traps can make things all the more devious, and delicious (if you like the taste of moon rocks).
And lastly, this card has become the subject of one of my first (dumb) personal goals I'd like to share - to get an HB deck, and tweak it to the point where I can use this twice in one turn. Whereupon I will shower myself in the cardboard money that follows, revel in fake pecuniary glory, and then probably never play this card again.