I both play Ultras, and (I think) understand why people hate them.
It is to do with them being the 'standard' Chapter, and the Second Company, because that's the GW Studio army, is the one that gets in all the publicity material - WD, posters, adverts, the Codex... so the 2nd Co is everywhere.
This produces a familiarity (at least with the imagery) that breeds contempt, the feeling that GW are pushing the 2nd Co Ultras as the 'norm'. And let's face it, who wants to be in this hobby to be 'normal' (read, 'unimaginative')?
In my defence, I didn't know I was painting my son's Ultras as 2nd Co, it had all changed since I used to play many years ago; I - armed with Codex that said Company Iconography could be applied in numerous places, and an old WD that said that the 5th Company was disgraced, which I thought sounded cool - painted them with gold trim because that's what all the (new) Ultras I'd seen looked like, then gave them black kneepads to represent 5th Co. Yeah yeah; I didn't know, and in the end repainting the kneepad was easier than repainting all the trim.
But things as simple as the old squad-with-the-paints, they were included with a guide to painting (2nd Co) Ultras. BfM and AoBR, they're 2nd Co Ultras. They really are everywhere. And that annoys people I think; both those don't play Ultras, because the Salamanders, White Scars, Black Templars, Space Wolves, Fleshtearers or whoever get really very little attention, and those who play Ultras, because the rest of you take the piss out us.
I like the Ultramarines. I like the Romanesque, classical look of them (I like the Thousand Sons too, not just because they're blue and gold); I also like many other chapters - the Sallies and White Scars, Blood Angels (for fluff reasons mainly), Dark Angels (sooo Goth) and probably my fave chapter going back to RT days would be the Crimson Fists (who were in many ways usurped by the Ultras in the '90s).
If the Crimson Fists were the 'GW Poster Boys' would the Ultras been seen as imaginative and the CFs as 'safe/dull'? Probably. Any 'GW poster boys' are going to run the risk of alienating a lot of people who see their chapter being ignored.
Of course, the answer isn't to make the CFs or the Sallies or whoever the new poster boys, I think that would be to make the same mistake with a different chapter - it's just to place less emphasis on the Ultras and spread the love a little. I think that is happening a bit, I've certainly seen more CF lists and Sallie lists in the past few weeks than any time since... records began.
But on the other hand, the Raven Guard seem to have slipped off the radar and there's no great signs of a White Scar revival, so...
I dunno. I think it boils down to: non-Ultra players, please cut us some slack, it's not our fault GW push the Ultras; Ultras players, let's support the players of 'minority' chapters and give them a bit of appreciation, because they don't get half anough love from GW.
:tolerance and moderation cyclops:
"Well it's Forty-one Thousand Nine Hundred Sixty-nine OK -
Gotta war across the Milky Way - "
Iggius Popiscus and the Stoogii, "41,969"