Good article here from the Shoe Snob...
The contemptuous tone is off-putting. It's a matter of perspective. If they think the complaining about quality is bad in this thread, the Wolverine thread would cause an aneurysm; worrying about a few light scuffs on a casual boot made in an easily scuffable leather is absurd. But, my guess is the same thing is going on there as it is here, which is, entry-level brands like Wolverine 1000-mile, Allen Edmonds, Meermin, et al., are a lot of persons first foray in to "quality" footwear, and they have high expectations.
If you own shoes that cost 2x as much as Meermins, and they have their own subtle perceived flaws, it is easier to be dismissive of more glaring flaws on the less expensive Meermins. Conversely, if Meermins cost 2x as much as any other shoe you've owned, you'd expect it to have less perceivable aesthetic flaws than what you already own, no? You'd be hard pressed to find a crooked toe cap on a $150 pair of Cole Haans. $300 on shoes is a big jump for some (most) people.
That said, some of the complaints are a little silly, but often it seems like posters are more looking for reassurance that perceived flaws are inconsequential, than they are wildly disappointed.