My thoughts: the fanbase is ridden with the good, the bad, and the ugly—fans, elitists, and trolls. Just ignore elitist Sonic fans and let new fans replace them...even if the elitists have a degree in Sonic physics.
*sigh* It's really a shame... I'm very guilty of proclaiming Sonic 4's mediocrity, and it's too bad a lot of us have to be as pessimistic as we are. A lot of it I'm sure has to do with the fact we've been shafted for over a decade by a team that doesn't seem to put the effort in, whether it be because they're rushed, or other internal issues.
Unfortunately, the damage has been done and I don't feel there's any way to re-unite all of these splinters of the fandom (if they were ever united to begin with), even if there was a unanimously good game to come out. At this point, though, I don't think it really matters in the end-- we are speaking on forums about anthropomorphic blue hedgehogs after all-- and individual passions aren't necessarily wrong.
Though I think we can all agree that Sega needs to up their game next time; it'll take a lot more than two okay-ly received games to make Sonic respectable again.
And that's where Sonic 4 ep. 2 and the 20th anniversary game come in