I know it wasn't your article, more of a general statement about your writing style that I appreciate. I tend to take articles from other sites with a grain of salt because many are influenced by their sponsors. Some to the point of kiss-assing certain reviews higher than they really are rated on other reviews.
I actually run Adblock so I can't even see which advertisers are working with the sites I write for (which is now exclusively PCWorld). That way not even the possibility of some of self-made bias leaks through.
FWIW, every place I've ever worked with keeps a strict barrier between editorial and the money-making department to ensure independence, and I have never once been asked to alter a story due to possible conflict with a sponsor.
The temptation not to piss off your advertisers or have access cut off to OEMs must be a tight walk for smaller sites, though, as unfortunate as that is. I know TweakTown claims to have had epic problems with Nvidia and says it has to get review cards from other sources.
I could see the hesitation to be openly harsh about a product in fear of not getting future review samples or support from vendors and/or advertisers. It is a funky dance that any tech review site has to do I guess.