... So I was relieved and very impressed by the binoculars when they arrived. It ticked all the boxes I could think of and yes they were subjective impressions. Then doubts crept in: was it really true they were not as bright as XY and Z, and so on.. ?
...If the thing you eat disagrees with you, you get rid of it after some hours and are soon back to normal; if you don't like something you hear it seems to stick with you a lot longer and you are reminded of it at various times even after you had seemingly forgotten!
Ah...the sense of insecurity that has launched a thousand binocular purchases!
The funny thing is, though, X, Y and Z (or L, S and Z if you prefer), all have their less-than-perfect points, whether it's performance against glare, issues with quality control and build quality, or specifications that on paper don't match the competition. Maybe that's why some of our esteemed viewership own one from each manufacturer, to use when unhappy with the others' quirks!
For my part, I truly enjoy reading a well-written review, and find the opinions of users with long-term experience of particular binoculars and comparitive experience of competing models particularly valuable. (Comparisons are odious, so the saying goes, but most folks purchasing a binocular will be evaluating it against the competition, so a write-up that evaluates two potential candidates for your dollar in particular areas of performance has that extra dimension that even the best review that sticks strictly to a single binocular does not.) But, ultimately, what I see from a binocular takes place in my eyes and head, not anyone else's. The Nikon EII, for instance, just doesn't work for me. That doesn't invalidate the opinions of the many who love it, but the fact that it works very well for them, unfortunately, does not mean it works likewise for me.
PS. it's entirely possible to reconcile less perceived brightness in previous EDGs with the improvement apparently shown by current EDGs without implying observer bias - it could easily be a small but subtle improvement in coatings. Nikon and Swarovski have both been thought to have improved their coatings (see discussions on Nikon SE serial numbers), and it's entirely possible that something similar might have been done with EDGs. Now for yet more insecurity over whether yours have the latest coatings... o