Really excellent post, Mr. Wilson.
I agree that the thin line of "constructive criticism" and downright flaming and offending for the sake of "winning" an argument is often lost behind the thin black and white words we type up.
Words most of us would never say in person are easy to type up hastily with minimal reprocussions. I often think: Our conversations here will be up for as long as the website exists--hopefully for many years to come. Future hobbyists will look to these pages for help and answers, or just to see "Hmmm what was the launch like of *insert game here* like 10 years ago?" and see that a lot of us were probably assholes (to put it frankly).
While I've been in this hobby for hardly a sliver of time compared to the veterans, and even less time on these forums, it's easy to see the nonsense regardless. Life is just too damn short.