What does it matter if a blogger receives a product free of charge, even as a gift, and proceeds to promote it?
It matters because, I, as a consumer, don't know their intent. They can tell me their intent, their friends and allies can tell me their intent, however they can't tell me what I believe, that is my choice and opinion to form, not theirs.
I have no problem with bloggers blogging about freebies, just tell me it was free to you. There is no need to act all offended if I just want to know the truth and assess for myself. Give yourself some credit that if you are blogging with honesty and integrity that I will come to the same conclusions that you have about the product. When a blogger fans the flame which encourages others to fight on their behalf, it makes me question the validity of their claims.
There is a big difference between "Wow, I just read the thread and now I'm going to defend myself" and "Oh yeah, I got this FoC and it is a great product" - one fans people to jump on the bandwagon and keep attacking, the other places the focus back on the product.
Secondarily, I am disappointed when a moderator of a forum participates in the discussion and openly takes sides. At that point they really should hand it over to another to assess and moderate because they are involved whether they are besties or just in awe of the poster, then to couple it with false accusations in PMs as a moderator is beyond the pale. I don't and can't have a personal issue with any crafty blogger because I don't know them personally. I know them as an online persona or a business persona. To be accused otherwise by a forum moderator is strange and biased. It seems like a very bad day at the office, just wish my vacation was a paid one.