One negative about a counterclockwise circuit is that if you find yourself in the maw of a storm blowing out of the northwest it can be a long hike from Lafayette summit to the hut and you must plow ahead directly into the face of it. Traveling clockwise, you reach the relative shelter of the trees quickly and high on the ridge near Little Haystack. Another benefit of a clockwise circuit is that when you reach Little Haystack, depending on the vagaries of the day and the group, you have the option of continuing on the ridge to Mt Liberty before descending. I never found it a problem to get a lift back to my car from Liberty Spring trailhead. All things are relative and after you have made the circuit several times in each direction the distinctions fall away; it is a great hike in either direction.