I think why people get so worked up is that they simply don't understand Apple's target market. They do make good devices. The Mini is overpriced given it's specs, there's little doubt about that, but that doesn't necessarily make it bad. The total experience, from all accounts anyway, seems to be quite good.
Personally, I'll never again pay a premium to join their locked-down proprietary world, but I can still see why some people find them so appealing. Unlike a lot of open standards, that proprietary world makes it easy for Apple to get their own devices integrating smoothly with each other. If you don't mind the limitations, it's not a bad world.