I've been in this hobby for over a decade, and all that time I have done my best to support Stern Pinball. I have defended the tough decisions they had to make in the down years, and I've tried to stay patient in recent years. I've spent lots of money on their games, but I have purchased my last NIB Stern Pinball machine and official Stern product (mods, accessories, etc.).
If you want the long story, I wrote an article about it, here: http://gamertheory.com/article.aspx/505/Stern-Pinball-has-turned-its-back-on-the-pinball-hobbyist/
If you want the tl;dr, I basically feel like Stern Pinball has lost its way and has turned its back on the hobbyists and collectors that kept them alive through their lean years. Quality of components has gone down, quality control has plummeted, but prices are far outpacing inflation. Stern is difficult to communicate with, and they only care about your wallet. Until practices dramatically change, I'm done supporting Stern Pinball in any fashion. These couple of statements from my article about sum it up:
"Stern's price increases are severely outpacing inflation. Stern's quality control has noticeably slipped over the years, and the ever cheapening of components and process is seeing problems with cabinet decals peeling, playfields chipping, electronic components failing, and mechanical failing or acting in unreliable fashion prematurely. You are paying more for a product that is becoming more problematic. [...] Stern doesn't care about you, they care about how many zeroes they can knock off the end of your bank account statement.
We want to be customers, not a sketchy salesman's mark. So Stern, you may have kept the lights on in the manufacturing plant, but we were the ones that paid for the electric bill. It's a shame how easily you have forgotten, or worse, try to ignore that fact."