vrln, aside from perhaps a delusional fanboy or two on this thread, I don't think anyone is letting Meridian off the hook for releasing a portable DAC/amp with unspecified yet exceptionally high output impedance that most likely adversely affects performance of portable headphones. Speaking for myself, I'm not so much bestowing goodwill towards Meridian than trying to put some of the issues here in a bigger perspective.
But since you mention goodwill, I think it's also fair to acknowledge that this issue remains unresolved, by that I mean it is still evolving, and that Meridian still has a chance to make good on it. Surely this is neither the first nor last time that a company enters a new subsegment inelegantly. I'm certainly interested in pursuing any "compensation" I'm entitled to, even though I'm not severely impacted by the problem.
Fair enough that putting a contact form on a web site carries with it a pretense of getting a response, and that it's annoying not to get one. But that is unfortunately the case most of the time with most web response forms, which is why I never use them. Actually, I did use the one at EmotivaPro, suspecting that as a direct-to-consumer audio specialist that encouraged the correspondence, it would be worthwhile. Sure enough, I received no response. Please assume that the inquiry was professional, with merit, real name, clear contact info, good diction, etc. (which is another issue, not all the customer inquiries merit a response, although I'm sure yours to Meridian did, and I mean that without a hint of sarcasm). Even so, those unanswered inquiries are not necessarily without impact; clearly we're getting the sense that Meridian is doing something, even if that does not include answering the inquiries, yet the inquiries undoubtedly influenced Meridian, so they were not a waste of our time.
And I do observe that head fi enthusiasts are rather spoiled with exceptionally forthcoming correspondence with guys like Jason Stoddard that in the grand scheme of things are the exception rather than the rule. And I've seen more than one Head-Fi'er not-so-subtly brag about chatting with the designer of the $1,500 tube amp they bought as if they've gained entree to an exclusive club. So, yeah, a little context. Although, owners of Meridian's flagship gear are quite likely even more insufferable, I'll grant you that, and perhaps Meridian itself has a cultural arrogance in keeping with that, and perhaps that's what's driving your disillusionment here. I'm not one of the guys that feels like he's getting a piece of erstwhile exclusive kit for $300, I just bought the best $300 DAC I could find, which I might still argue is this one, headphone output Z and whatever Meridian's infamous reputation be damned.
Audio reviews are bigger issue for sure, but I think it's a stretch to condemn them categorically based on Explorer getting some positive reviews. We have posts on this already, but you could just as easily argue that the reviews reflect that the output impedance ultimately does not have a huge impact on the array of applications for which Explorer is suitable (used with line out, high-Z phones, etc.), which is not an argument I'll make here, but for putting the merit of professional audio reviews of Explorer in to some context.
And there are many audio products that do not come with a full complement of specs. Seems like most of them I want to buy have at least one critically obvious spec missing or incongruously reported. Sure, it's annoying, and should be better. But a lot of these issues aren't particularly unique to Meridian or this situation.