A Sony fanboy speaks
I've got a fair amount of Sony kit, so some thoughts from that point of view.
Over the past few years the build quality has definately going down. In the past year the Bluray player and amp I've purchased have been significantly more lightweight than their several year old predecessors
Meanwhile as someone else pointed out, there is a lack of synergy (can I use that word here?) between products. A case in point being the Bluray player point blank refusing to acknowledge some video formats/codecs, but the PS3 not having any problems at all. They both have had various firmware updates, so it's not as if they've been completely abandoned. Similarly my new amp is touted an AV reciever with a DLNA client, but doesn't support streamed video at all!
On a similar subject I'm now pretty used to the XMB style interface that most visual Sony products have. So I have no idea which team of idiots developed and signed off the abomination that my amp presents me with. Words fail me at how bad it is, so as a picture paints a thousand words, imagine this on a 40" screen: http://asset2.cbsistatic.com/cnwk.1d/i/tim/2011/08/09/IMG_0026_540x303.JPG . A great use of screen real estate, no?
As for the very bad things Sony have done (to me) the worst has to be the proprietry hardware/software formats it foists on us. I'd got fed up with having to buy yet another evolution of Memory Stick with suitably evolved name for a huge price. Fortunately for Sony someone up top decided to allow their cameras to start using SD as well, as I was virtually on the way to the shop to pick up a Lumix.
I know that Sony Centres/Shops are franchises, but you would like to think a corporate drone would take a look every now and again. When looking to do some amp pre-purchase research I visited three such establishments, and none of them even had a single amp on display. It's almost as if they didn't exist. Bluray players were a bit elusive as well.
So to sum up in report style. Must try harder.