I better explain myself before I get shot!!
What I mean is how many people here have a very balanced view of ALL past machines from 8-64bit regardless of whether they sport an Atari badge or not?
Not sure I understand the question. I mean, yes, I have a very balanced view of MOST past machines (haven't played with or even laid eyes on a few of them) whether they sport an Atari badge or not but, for me, most of them suck. I own/like the Atari 2600, the Atari 5200 and the Vectrex, the rest don't interest me. My first computer was an Atari 800 (by choice, a couple friends had Apple ][s and I didn't care for them, hated TRS computers and wasn't keen on Commodores) and I love it still. Not until I saw SGI Impact 2s at my first real job did I like another computer again. And a friend of mine had an Atari 400 but I hated it (that keyboard was hell).
Having said that there are some Atari products I don't like, or don't like enough. The Atari 7800, somehow, doesn't do it for me (and how stupid am I about that with recent Scramble, Moon Cresta homebrews?@!). I own a Falcon computer but haven't used it in a while, wasn't impressed after giving it a full (expensive for the time) try. I'm fully Linux now.
My best friend had an Intellivision and a 5200 when we were kids. Loved the Atari 5200 (finally buying one years later), really didn't like the Intellivision (minus a few good games we played a lot). No desire to own one and it's one I grew up with. There is/was just something about Atari that "does it" for me. The 2600 is primitive beyond all others yet I really like it still. The 5200 rocks. It's just a look they both have (graphics, game play). Same goes for Atari arcade games, there was a run of a few years where they practically could do no wrong by me. Cinematronics was also solid there, some Midway and Sega games, but Atari ruled... until the later '80s when all new arcade games sucked for me. Wrong look, wrong game play. Forget it, I'll play Tempest. I remember seeing an Odyssey 2 in a store and trying to play it, hating everything about it (keyboard, game graphics, joysticks). Never liked the Nintendo and it's offspring.
Most fans drink the Kool-Aide for their favorites. I agree that the fanatics are intolerable, their favorites are completely perfect and superior to all others. But fans are rarely fans of everything in the genre, they pick their favorites. I love the Vectrex as much as the 2600 and the 5200 but what I would really really love to see? The Atari vector arcade games ported to the Vectrex.