I've heard (or rather seen) a lot of people posting across the internet about how icky RHSS is. I'll concede that, years ago, it was pretty rough. But, then again, it was also the only affordable yarn for knitters/crocheters who had very little money to spend.
Now, RHSS has softened over the years into something much more workable. And to tell the truth, most people want an item that they can just throw into the washer and dryer without worrying about it losing its shape.
Now, I'm not disrespecting quality yarns at all, I love to use them when I can afford them, as long as they're items for myself so that I know I'll take care of them properly, but for gifts I would use a good quality, soft acrylic.
These days, there are many, many brands of acrylic yarns, but I have no way to get to them except online, so I use mostly what my local W-M offers (sucks, I know, but that's how life is.) When I can afford to get some money into my Paypal I'll shop around for the good stuff, usually on Ebay since they take Paypal and I can usually find something nice at a good price.
Such as the three skeins of sock yarn I purchased a few days ago. I hope this link works.
Brown Sheep Wildfoote
It's in the color Ragtime, which is different colors of purples and plums, some of my favorites.
I can't wait to knit up a pair of socks from this yarn, it's very soft and cushy. But I have other projects that must be finished first, so it will likely be after Christmas.