Chess, I completely agree with you. It's frightening how little the general population knows about science and how it works. The fact is, no matter how much anecdotal or personal evidence you have in support of audio phenomenon X
(be it break-in, differences btw. cables, SS amplifiers sounding different, etc.), you cannot trust it until it's been tested in a controlled environment. This is a basic tenet of science. Even scientists have personal biases. This is precisely why double-blind tests are so often used.
Now, cheese-toast (please forgive me
), being the most vocal (and likely the most qualified -- especially after sushi's departure) representative of the scientific community on this board, your responsibility is greater than you might imagine. To many here, you are the only real-world scientist they've ever had a conversation with. That role comes with a great burden, of which I'm sure you're aware.
Stomping all over someone's current belief system is no way to show them the error of their ways. I admire you for holding the torch of logic, methodology, and reason, but try to keep it held high. It's very tempting to swing it around and fling embers about, but burned people hold grudges.