I just read through all of this and it was quite entertaining. I like how people throw the words "fact" and "cheap" and "over-priced" around.
Some one said something about it being a "fact" that 80% of Burton sales are not snow related. I find that to be a staggering statistic since I work for one the largest Burton accounts and the only thing Burton we sell that is not snow related is is rolling luggage a few non-technical back packs; those sales are less than 5% of what we sell. So if a top 10 account sells 95% snow related product, I find it hard to believe that all of the other Burton accounts sell waaaaay more $50 backpacks (Oh yeah, and look at every other snowboard brand, they sell t-shirts, hats, etc. too)
Someone else talked about "swallowing up smaller brands." Usually the small company getting bought up is about to go out of business. So would you rather see Forum, Blend, and Foursquare go away forever (because Mervin, NS, and Rome would be able to afford to absorb a brand's debt). Acquisitions happen. If they don't, we lose brands...try getting a warranty board from Omatic this year...
They only thing Burton that use/own are my Gore Mitts, but I don't bash the brand. Do they have stuff that works for me (boards, bindings, boots, etc.)? Yes. Do I use them? No (well only when testing next year's product). It comes down to people just wanting to hate on the "big player." I work for a pretty large retailer and I here the hate all of the time. The funny thing is that the people that bash the snowboard selection we have (because I buy for our stores) have a lot less knowledge about snowboards and spend a lot less time on EVERY board out there than I do. It is time to realize that this world is slightly bigger than your needs/desires/image/etc.