They eventually got it right, and as the p-3 the basic structure is still in service, but early problems (crashes caused by wings falling off during flight) with the Electra and dealing with those kept Lockheed out of the first generation of jets. They had nothing to compete with the 707, DC-8 or 880. They tried a comeback with the 1011, but it was an uphill battle because they didn't have a family of planes to offer. If you bought Lockheed, you were going to have to also shop Boeing or Douglas, who could offer package deals with DC-9s or 727s/737s.
As for the comfort of the plane, I had originally liked them when they were new, but the last flight I took on one (1992) was miserable. There was no individual air control for each seat, and cabin air circulation was inadequate for the flight. I never flew Delta transatlantic again.
I had a chance to fly on one for free a few years back on Reeve Aleutian Airlines.
Only problem is, did I really want to go to Adak Alaska? If they flew them to their Russian stops, I probably would have.
I have a buddy that used to fly them cargo around micronesia. He loved it, plus the fact that there really wasn't any other air traffic around.