Recommendations based on what you've read are fine as long as you are indicating that you are suggesting they do more research on the gear you are recommending, not just buy it based on your recommendation. I do this all the time. I'll say 'X product has been traditionally a good performer for your needs, according to what I've read, you might look at more info on it'. On my computer forum I recently recommended someone look into Etymotic in ears based on his need for supreme isolation but also good sound. I've never heard an Etymotic in my life, but after he looked around he decided to go with it and loved them.
I think this is the whole issue at hand, though. If I understand the OP correctly, the annoyance is that opinions are given without this caveat... they're passed off as personal experience, while they're not at all.
Also, your example of the Ety recommendation on a different forum is fine and dandy, and is even good, but once we're in the realm of a forum that is a dedicated place for people to come and search out information based on others' experience with the product in question... in my opinion, it shouldn't exist here (at least not without the proper caveat).
Edited by TopPop - 2/26/12 at 2:18pm