Don - if you visit the AW library towards the top of the forum you can see who some of our publishers are, they vary between small presses and the big houses, as well as self publishing.

Also don't forget, this section (Bewares and Background Check) is about looking into publishers/agents to make sure they aren't scams before submitting to them. This is the section of "negative gefuffle" as you call it. That's it's purpose. However you'll also find threads in this section that are positive, where someone asks after a publisher and gets, "Oh yeah, they're small but awesome" responses.

But think about it, is someone really going to come into this section and ask "Is Random House any good?" We all know the big legit publishers, there's no need to ask about them. And so smaller publishers get discussed, many of which have no track record or are pay to play outfits, so yes, this section leans towards the negative, but only because people are asking about lesser known operations.

Also, I would try to change your outlook of this part of the forum. All you see is negativity because people here are saying negative things about a certain publisher/agent. But it is actually a positive place helping authors not be scammed. It isn't a place that is trying to put down agents/publishers just for fun, but rather a place to protect our own. (and the only agents/publishers who get put down are those that deserve to be put down in the first place, so it isn't like they don't deserve it anyway)