- Love/Hate: When Wizards of the Coast performs a minor rules upgrade, like 3.5, there was outrage. When Paizo performs a minor rules upgrade, like Pathfinder's "3.75" there's celebration.
- Legacy: If Pathfinder is a considerable power shift for D&D characters, why would you want to use all your 3.5 D&D books to add on to it? In other words, if it doesn't preserve your 3.5 collection of legacy books, what good is it?
- Money: If it's about the money, how is spending a bunch of money on Pathfinder different than spending a bunch of money on D&D 4? Some people are actually disappointed that Pathfinder will eventually become a book that they will have to buy, aka spending any money at all. Perhaps the excitement is a free, very high value PDF (albeit an Alpha). Perhaps there is a tiny, vocal community of online cheap bastards that partially drive this argument.
- Commitment: A long alpha period with a PDF product will allow them to fish for feedback to see if there's a market for this. They're not committing serious resources to this move, so they may not be sure themselves if this will work.
- GSL Backlash. Wizards of the Coast's inability to provide the GSL license is causing a lot of this "backlash." As it stands now, publishers won't have product available for the D&D 4 release. Publishers are seeing their market for providing D&D support evaporate and perhaps they're getting desperate.
- It's weak sauce. I've personally looked at it and talked to others at the store, and there's nothing compelling about Pathfinder. In fact, I get that same 3.5 irritation that someone peed on the pool, that I'm reading a bunch of unnecessary rules changes. The Pathfinder rules are too evolutionary, and thus not very compelling. It's a common thread. The general consensus is that The Book of Experimental Might is weak sauce too, so perhaps we're looking for a "reboot."
There is now a larger incentive to drop Paizo. Paizo has gone from a publisher to a competitor since they lost the rights to publish Dungeon and Dragon magazines. Their online store sells everything game related at a discount, including the products they sell through my store. Their subscription service comprises the bulk of Pathfinder sales in my area, with just a few customers getting them from me. When I do sell their product, it usually includes customer incentive to buy from them online. With a switch to their own system, it would be very easy for me to stop carrying their products. In fact, there's a larger incentive to stop supporting them, since every Pathfinder sale is likely to lock people into a new system and distribution model that Paizo controls. With their decision to reduce the retailer margin in January, it's even more compelling an argument to stop supporting them.