Funny, I don't like the post-G1 TF stuff, and I'll mock it (usually with tongue in cheek, even if it doesn't seem that way), but I don't begrudge anyone who does. If I see a cartoon that sucks arse, I'm less likely to buy a toy I was unlikely to buy before.
I don't understand why you say it's totally different from folks who love the OT but dislike (or refuse to acknowledge) the PT. In both, you have a classic story, and some later, subpar additions to it. There's G1, and in that you can pick cartoon, Marvel, Dreamwave, or IDW (though if you pick Dreamwave, you're nuts). If you want, you can continue that with G2 (though you're limited to the Marvel comic here). Cartoon G1 continuity continues with Beast Wars/Machines, but, face it, there are a lot of people (probably not many posting in this thread) who don't like the idea of robots turning into animals and totally discount that. Everything else is its own animal. There is a continuity, if you want to see it, but instead of one "this is absolute" story, you have a few choices.
The only thing it seems that Transformers lines agree on is that they're two factions of alien robots from Cybertron and their leaders are called Optimus something and Megatron. Taking the ActionMasters into account, I can't even list actual transformation as consistent.
The nostalgia plays a bit, perhaps, but couldn't the same be said about all the Han Solo figures sold in 1995? All I know is that, though some have looked well-made, no Starscream figure since G2 has interested me in the slightest, and now I have the character I remember in a figure that doesn't suck. (Of course Tycho will have a better Starscream soon, but that's out way of my budget right now, barring a US re-release.)