While there was plenty of backlash in relation to the whole "paid Skyrim mods" situation, I don't think anyone is really against modders getting compensated for hard work. It's just that the system Valve had set up was horrible. Sure, it didn't survive long enough to "iron out the kinks", but most of those "kinks" are ones that should've been ironed out before launch. Overall what we've got here is an example of a fantastic idea that was executed very, very poorly.
I think putting up a paywall between mods and gamers was a bad idea. It could've worked if it was a tip jar style donation though. Keeping mods free but giving gamers a way to support their favorite modders is a much better idea. There's not a uniform and convenient platform on Steam to do that with as far as I know. That could be a great model if executed correctly. The "paid mods" program that Valve tried to go with had a ton of flaws, and I think the most important issue of them all was stated by Steam user and modder FilthyCasual (nice username btw):
"You have now divided PC consumers and modders, when we used to be a pretty tight bunch."