I wonder how much different D&D would have been if the original attitude prevailing at early WOTC as described in the link below had been present for the past 10 years.
An interesting thread on this topic is running at TheRPGSite.com now.
Here's the link mentioned above, from Al at Beyond the Black Gate, and think it's pretty relevant to the discussion...Enjoy...
Back to the subject at hand in this thread, I doubt that any of the PR or customer service mistakes would have been made. It would have been so fundamentally against the corporate culture to do so, that they would never have come up.
I think that the Lisa and Vic mentioned in that article link are the same who now own Paizo, so maybe in a sense the spirit of the early WOTC days is still alive in Paizo/Pathfinder.
Fundamentally it comes down to who owns/runs/works at the company, and why they do so. If it's all about the money to the detriment of the hobby and those who enjoy the hobby, you have problems. To the extent the decisions and corporate environment reflect the spirit of enthusiastic members of the hobby making things for others who enjoy the hobby, you have a company like Paizo doing well with PR effortlessly, because to them it's not PR. It's just being themselves and enjoying what they're doing.
I wonder if we can ever get such an attitude back for D&D pen and paper tabletop roleplaying in some way...I don't know if the cultural underpinnings are there anymore to support such widespread manic enthusiasm for either the current or older versions of the game.