The grey is pretty close to the grey Malavitas from last year if my memory serves me. They are a lot lighter than this years Cartels in the cement colorway. I would say the stock photos on the union site are a good match for the actual color.
I don't think anyone is trying to flame or catch feelings, I think, like you said, the people that have ridden the gear are trying to offer their opinions/advice on the the gear that people are asking about without a lot of hassle from the people who haven't ridden it (or rode it for a day).
I know you noticed all the shit going on, and, wisely, decided to keep on doing what you were doing. In fact, I think you even took time out to help a dude set his 390s up.
OP, now that you know that the heel is the way it is, and may make your decision based on that, how grey are those stone atlases? I want a pair to be matchy matchy with my Yes board and Arbor del Rey.