It is something of a pointless argument or discuss because like cable and a range of other hot-button topics, it never can and never will be resolved.
Steve, stop being rational and reasonable, this isn't the thread for that.
I don't agree with everything you've said, especially around the differences, but I get the gist of what you're saying. Ultimately it is, of course down to what you like. Always has been and always will be. I just get riled at manufacturers and reviewers when they start peddling utter lies in their marketing and reviews. It's the audio quackery and claims that certain things make a difference when they provably don't.
I do agree with your last statement though and that's because it's the exact same situation as with religion. This high end rubbish is a belief system and people don't like their beliefs challenged and will defend them even in the face of overwhelming evidence. It's something to make an otherwise dull Friday in work go faster though.