Criticism dissipates when issues are addressed in a respectful, timely manner. If criticism is ramping up, it usually means the problem is not being dealt with in a way that satisfies all parties, particularly the customer. While many on here run to defend vendors and manufacturers when they drop the ball, that's ok, but... don't simply pass off incompetence, arrogance or even outright fraud simply because the guy has product you want, or you happen to be an acquaintance. These companies are, in the first instance, businesses, maybe enthusiasts after.
The model train hobby is expensive, and mfrs and vendors can ill afford to alienate its market base. MLS is a canary in a coal mine for the industry. A wise business takes the lumps it sees in MLS and deals with it. Smart businesses don't cut and run from sites like MLS because the noise level is high, they deal with it. The ones that don't, don't really care for your business and time will shuffle them out.
Of all of my hobbies and Lord knows, I have many , my experience with mfrs and vendors in the model train hobby is that this is by far the worst for vendor and manufacturer arrogance and attitude. This tells me a couple of things - that the industry views the product as a throwaway, a consumable, and once sold, only an issue insomuch as it will support further sales, or, the distributed sales base is so broad, and given that its international, that individual sales mean nothing to the business, or both. Support is a cost of doing business, but when it gets too high, a broadly distributed company will simply cut and run. Don't forget, most of the "manufacturers" (like Bachmann, Accucraft) in this hobby are really just sales agents. Other than the upfront cost of inventory and distribution, their investment is not large - they are not building and running the plants.
Frankly, I think most of them are just lousy businessmen - unwilling to spend small to save big, at the cost of the sales cycle. Most of the bitching that goes on here reflects exactly that. Most complainers would relax with timely communication and reasonable accommodation. Its when the buyer doesn't get that, that the noise level goes up, and I think its fair ball.
Case in point: I just tried to order some parts from Accucraft for my Rubies, using their online order system. Guess what - I'm in Canada - after going through all of the stuff and carting what I wanted, I find I can't check out because their system will only accept US addressing for their accounts. So far, Accucraft is 0 for 6 in contact attempts. No response to emails, no response to comments on on-line product registration, and my Mogul still doesn't run properly. I have lusted over other models in their line, but you know what? I'm not investing thousands of dollars in a company that doesn't have the courtesy to answer emails from a system designed and advertised to do business that way. Most days, because of work schedule, its not practical for me to call "Cliff" (nor am I inclined to run up long distance charges when its not necessary - I'd rather put that money into product, not the phone company - hello? Accucraft and others - get it yet?). Ultimately I will just cut my losses and walk away from the product. Not a good business strategy.
I'm only using Accucraft as an example - I find this hobby industry to be rife with this kind of problem.
What I do find offensive on here, is the on-going dialogue and bashing because a company doesn't make a product the way some buyers want it. Much of that conversation has more to do with personalities. it would seem, than real "issues" Applicability is not the same problem as communication or reliability issues.