They a good snowsports company. None of the burton models appealed to me this season when shopping for my ride with the exception of the custom. Like any sport, there will always be a manufacturer which is touted by a majority consumer base. Like any bandwagon, there are good and bad reasons for the hype. And like any issue with more than one side, there's never a right answer.
My distant perspective on this hot button is that a lot of people feel secure in decisions they made in an absence of information by standing amongst others who firmly assert that burton is a quality company. When someone seeks to counter that in any capacity, the "fanbois" get up in arms- to say burton is bad is to say they made a poor investment.
Some of Burton's merchandise is of very high quality and deserves to be compared with top-of-the-line equipment. Other times, the Burton name could sell tennis shoes to a mermaid. It's the nature of these industries for certain brand names to filter to the top thanks to the frantic head nodding of the masses.
Anyone who buys Burton because it's Burton is doing precisely what I described at the start of my post- making ill-informed decisions. This can be said for Nike, Underarmor, And1, etc.
Personally, I feel that Burton's quality has dropped in many product lines over the past 5 years or so, but my jacket is Burton and I think it's a great purchase. I wouldn't be surprised if they were more focused on creating an image than creating an item at this point in the company's development. They have a frenzied horde willing to buy poo on a stick if that cool arrow symbol is smeared into the side.