Not burned... but your statement is a little harsh. All my tripod/monopod accessories are made by "Kirk" including a Kirk BH-1 ball head and I am very happy with its performance. So, not everyone are lemmings blindly following in mass.
I have read many times were the moderators and experienced members recommend Kirk, RRS, Arca-Swiss, et al. Their level of experience is something I can only dream of so I do appreciate their recommendations and comments but always conduct additional research about a product before buying. There is nothing wrong with brand loyalty as long as the brand can live up to the honor. If Markins were not an excellent product I'm sure we would hear about that too!
The "...stock in the company" comment is funny - I have wondered about it myself sometimes.