I've been reading the thread on the Outer Bouroughs board that began with a cafe review and ended in vitriolic statements about how awful "Joe Park Slope" and his wife and child are and what idiots everone save the writer and a select few true chowhounds are. It leaves me with a question: who do we think we are? (this should not be read "who in the hell do we think we are?", but more like "how do we see ourselves?"
Although I am deeply committed to eating the best food I can, and have great respect for a great cook, I don't look down on others for not doing so. I'll readily admit that I don't understand people who willingly choose to go to a chain dining establishment when some other option presents itself (including not eating). Despite that, the unreserved bile doled out on "those people" seems totally out of proportion.
Is it a drag when really great restaurants go out of business because people choose to spend their dining dollars elsewhere? Yes, of course. Are we entitled to feel superior because we really get good food? Maybe on the inside, a bit. But remember, Plenty of others see chowhounds as eccentrics fixated on aestheticising something that ought to be, really, utilitarian. I'm not saying they're right, just that it's good to have a little self-reflection.