It cuts both ways...as I once mentioned on another forum, some people will be yes-men and back someone up solely because they're friends, or because they're hoping for a kickback in the form of better deals or access to coveted items/events, while others will slag someone just because they don't like them, and all these things carry weight, maybe more than they should.
Throw the online world into the mix, where people can go off half-cocked or display belligerence that only the distance and relative anonymity of the internet affords them....and you have misinformation, rumours and half-truths, coupled with shouting matches and popularity contests. All opinion and zero fact to back it up. It's sad, because it hurts the hobby, creates unnecessary rifts, and sometimes the wrong people profit from it.
Personally, I don't see the point of asking for testimonials on the Web, I'd rather see for myself and bypass the popularity contest.
I have a cynical outlook about this and it's a somewhat unpopular stance. It often rubs people the wrong way and I know it, mostly from all the stuff people think doesn't get back to me.
The point is, don't take anyone's word (including mine) for things. Go see for yourself, think critically, don't turn a blind eye. Luckily, there are some excellent breeders and retailers in Ontario for us all to choose from. On the whole, there are some great people in herps, and I believe that as much as some things stay the same, others will only get better.