Of course! I fully agree with your here Dingo. In most cases, I too think that developers should be both encouraged and applauded for being transparent.You're welcome to this opinion but I can't say I agree with it. I won't fault a game developer for taking a more transparent route, openly discussing a feature and/or asking for/receiving feedback on it and then in the end not using it. It comes off as insisting they must begin with their starting point, or vision of the game, and stay with it. As if it's some static approach. I don't think this is fair to them. It's not realistic or reasonable either. Things change.
The developer should be cut some slack in this area. Maybe they thought something would work better one way but as things evolved and came together realized it worked better another. If they really put passion and effort into the game, and I sincerely think CDPR does, they've earned this freedom.
It's the exact same deal with areas like car customization or features supposedly being "cut". People see this and assume it means the game is losing content. As if those features and functionality were fully implemented and in their finished state then cut out of the equation at the last minute. Nothing was lost here. It just means things changed in the design process. It happens.
If anything I'd rather see things go the other way, in fact. Game devs be a bit more forthcoming with what they're trying to achieve, how those views shift over the development process, etc. Unfortunately, this often means they get slapped around in the video game "media" and from players alike. This is probably why they often aren't so free with sharing.
However, to ItsDacisco (OP's) question and my point: This transparency has drawbacks too and I'm elaborating on them. The reason why these reviewers aren't commenting on how great/terrible the FPP is, and why it is a "controversy" to others, is because the transparency in development has allowed those passionatly following that development, to get understandably disappointed when it takes a direction they hadn't hoped for. The influencers - more likely to be invested only transiently - have no such attachment.
Let's be clear though: It is transparency that causes disappointment, and it's CDPR which is being transparent. Ergo, CDPR has caused this disappointment, or "controversy". But it's a "damned if you do, damned if you don't" situation when it comes to this. Transparent or not, CDPR would've caused some disappointment either way, but on the whole, I agree that transparency is still the preferable option. As long as CDPR is willing to put up with the drawbacks of transparency, they should keep doing it.
That said, you didn't completely misread me. In an ideal world, transparency is best and I agree with you on paper, but I would be willing to argue against transparency in cases like this and how CDPR should sometimes be excused from being so, if we were to prioritize player expectations ahead of transparency. That's an argument for another thread though. Maybe we'll start a "transparency" topic after/if they lock this one down.