Part of me wonders if loving being the second flutist is actually an unpopular opinion after all. Perhaps we just don't like to admit it because being first flute is seen as "better".
I personally feel that being second flutist poses interesting challenges that I love to overcome. How do you switch from a blending sound to a more soloistic sound in a flash? How do you blend so that you make the first flutist sound even better than they already are? How does your counterpoint fit in with the first flutist? Can you make your harmony sound the fundamental underneath?
Granted, not everyone will like these challenges--in fact, plenty of people will see these challenges as as nuisance. But I discovered that I LOVE them. When I overcome them, I get a rush of adrenaline and a huge sense of accomplishment. It gives me life!
What chair do you like to sit in the orchestra, and why? Let me know! :)