I never get in the small ring on the road bike either.
Are you talking small ring on a double or triple? Just wondering because I can maintain 23-24 MPH in a 39-13 with a cadence of about 100 RPM. Just did it this morning. The big ring has it's place, which for me is when I'm going faster than ~23 or doing specific big gear training (and I'm going faster than 23 when I do that).
I just put a new Ultregra 6600G gruppo on my freshly repainted IF Crown Jewel, and man does that stuff shift nice! It could be that I was used to my trashed-for-3-years old Ultregra stuff, but still...
As for the original question, I agree that a triple is totally unnecessary in Florida, unless you have bad knees, plan on taking it to the mountains (you could just get a wider range cassette) or just want us all to laugh at you.