Big difference between woods. But for the typical person who isn't an avid bbq'er, smoked meat probably just tastes like smoked meat and they couldn't tell much of a difference. Like a person who knows nothing about wine, but just knows they prefer red wine. Give them any red wine and they will recognize it and enjoy it, but couldn't tell you how it's different from anything else they've had. Until they train their palate and do some head to head comparisons, red wine is red wine regardless of the grape used, just as smoked meat is just smoked meat regardless of the wood used.
For people like us who live and breathe smoke, the difference is obvious after much experience. But give most people a piece of meat smoked with hickory today and then a piece smoked with oak tomorrow and they aren't going to detect much difference. It's not that there isn't a difference, it's just that most people haven't had enough experience to understand what it is they are tasting, nor do they probably care as long as it tastes good.