I personally think Mike Fortin seems like a decent guy. If you look at old forums he used to post here, and would answer emails even when he worked for Randall. Some people love his mods, and others don't. Ultimately tone is subjective, but a lot of big name artist used his stuff. The issue with Fortin products I feel isn't Mike Fortin. It's the snobby, up their own ass tone snobs who decided that Fortin products were the greatest piece of guitar gear since Jim Marshall decided to sell amps.Never even heard of Fortin until I got into Neural plug-ins.
It's really hard to get a read from forums (looking only the
last year or so) about the general consensus of the amps.
Lots of either love or pretty solid dislike.
Anything I'm missing on why the polarization, other than the
usual that happens in regard to mega-high priced gear?
Fortin's Facebook page was super cringe for awhile, and if you had even the smallest critique of anything Fortin they 'd go insane. In response a wave of people went the other way to break down his mods and proclaim that they're simple Jose variants. Fortin himself never said his gear was anything more than that, but when you have fans acting like the amps are some gift from tone Jesus, well then you get backlash.
Now on this forum you have rumors that Fortin may have a few unoriginal, or even stolen designs. I read the old evil Pumpkin posts, but that's none of my business. All I know is Fortin products do a specific sound, and some people like it and some hate it. However people taking a 200.00 pedal and selling it for 800.00 is stupid no matter how you slice it