The reason all the "random nobodies" are questioning IM's business model is that they have deep-seated feelings about the scammy business and the evilness of Windows installers. They spent hours cleaning up mountains of crap from their relatives' and friends' computers. They understand how non-tech users feel helpless in the face of sneaky bullshit artists piling that crap onto their hard drives, and they feel enraged when they think about it, and for a good reason too.
So in fact, nobody who's in business of building installers that distribute crap toolbars deserves humility and circumspection. They might possibly be that rare exception, a flower blooming on a dunghill, but asking sharp questions to establish that is neither impolite nor inappropriate. It comes with the territory they've chosen to grow on.
Your moral indignation is as laughable as it is corrupt. Just as much of it would be appropriate defending an actual spammer - I can see you directing people to get off their soapboxes and telling them they don't get to judge the spammer's business until they earned $1 from a customer. A "completely different universe" indeed. Get a clue.
In my case (by extension, my business), the appropriate units here would be "months" (assuming 720 hrs/month).
Yet I still don't see this as a YC issue, I don't see anything more justifiable than a quibble over PG's response to it, and I'm a little stunned at the vitriol here.
Still though, the response seems disproportionate. It's not like YC has recently developed a pattern of funding distasteful businesses (or teams); why did everyone automatically assume YC was behaving badly?
There still seems to be a problem in people jumping to conclusions before having enough information at hand. A lot of the comments on Aaron's case were symptomatic of this (the fallout too).
I'm not sure if this is a new problem here or not, but it seems to be getting a lot uglier recently.