It’s that part, “the majority?”, that’s the problem here. This forum creates the impression that Fairphones are falling apart en masse in the hands of overwhelmingly disgruntled customers because that’s the nature of a support forum: people come here because they have issues, and people who don’t have issues don’t seek out the forum.
So we don’t know whether or not the overall experience is aligned, as you say, with the corporate/fan narrative. Though I’d say my real life encounters with FP2 users skew toward the overwhelmingly positive, which you may or may not consider a data point.
But on top of all of that I think we need to distinguish between enthusiasm and adulation. It’s possible to be enthusiastic and positive while recognising the shortcomings of FP products. My FP2 has had some minor issues that I resolved, and I couldn’t be happier with the thing - and that goes for most FP2 users I’ve run into in real life. I know this device’s weaknesses, and I’m still happy to sing its praises.
An example of the enthusiastic-and-realistic mindset: just last week I was chatting with someone when I saw she had an FP2, and I asked her if she had any issues, and she did: the phone would reboot when it was placed on a table with too much force. A common issue with the battery contacts, so I helped her stick down a bit of tape on the inside of the battery well, and she was practically beside herself at the joy of repairing her own smartphone. She wants to keep using it for the next five years, so she told me. I’d go so far as to say that in this case, the defect made this user enjoy the use of their phone more.
I don’t see blind adulation in this topic, just enthusiasm. And if anything, it’s the enthusiasm that’s carried over into the mainstream: FP does not have a bad name, it isn’t widely known for making bad phones. People use these phones and even in 2020, any FP2 that’s offered on this forum for a reasonable price is likely to sell within a week.