As "charming" a read as this thread has been, I personally subscribe to the notion that most forum contributors would be better off if they always wrote as though they were speaking in person to someone at least a full head taller than themselves possessed of a short temper and a large reach... possibly in a back alley while suspended overhead by their ankles for some!
"I calls 'em like I sees 'em!" is an attitude far easier to back up with virtual anonymity, and is more likely due to exist with lowered inhibition on the net. Personally, I'm a little bored with internet and telephone tough guys who go farther online than they ever would discussing issues with a real life group of others with an interest in a similar item, or issue.
Sorry to those I've doubtlessly bored, but part of belonging to an artificial construct like society is observing social conventions. They need to apply to virtual societies like forums as well.
That said, whether working as a hardware engineer or a software developer, or both I've always found frank feedback to be helpful. As the owner or management of a company or the poor jerk trying to sell or market a product harsh public feedback can make you cringe, but ultimately it's beneficial. Honestly, if you did your job right you should see precious little of it.
When you've dropped the ball a thicker skin and a devotion to making it right are required. If nothing else we must all credit Kobo for continuing to support and improve existing products rather than taking the "we'll get it right on the next one" attitude and leaving existing purchasers to suffer.