my two cents... snowboarding was, and still is to a large degree, counter-culture. burton has evolved into a savvy business and achieved market dominance and that makes them mainstream. this clashes with the sentiments of counter-culture thereby making it cool to hate on them. it's the same thing need to rebel, to be different, to stand-out from the norm that characterizes all counter-culture genres. but, ironically, a lot of the haters are just being the sheep that they try not to be by jumping on the bandwagon and hating on the thing that everyone else is hating with little justification. comparing products in burton's line-up to other company's products in the same price point, their prices are not outrageous. comparing failure rates based on volume of sales, i'd bet their quality is on par with every other major player. it's become the social norm to support the underdogs and people think they sound more cool when they profess to support a more obscure brand than their friends.