All the companies mentioned have put out their share of crap. Just the same, each of them has put out at least ONE decent product as well. Really though, the article is all about consumer brand preferences, and isnt a fair measure of quality. (BOSE for example) Myself I like Sony, and I dont buy CD's so that whole rootkit thing hasn't bothered me. Just the same, I have had a few junky Sony products. (How about a Clie that only does about half of what it says it can on the box, or a discman that begins playing cds at about half-speed two weeks after the warranty is out.) Best strategy. Look at the product in-store if possible. Never buy something you cant return, and examine every feature, every structural component. How many of you have ever resorted to using electrical tape to hold your remote control batteries in? Guess what, the one you bought wasn't built to last, just look pretty.