The invective stems from the belief that chains drive independents out of business. Too often it’s true. I’ve seen it happen any number of times. Unfortunately, a Subway opened up next to my favorite little mom/pop sandwich place in a strip mall near my AZ home and "poof", the mom/pop joint folded even though they made great Chicago-style (complete with flourescent green relish) hot dogs.
Nevertheless, you will generally not find me among those making snarky remarks in any thread about chains because, in the absence of other choices (too often the case, especially in smaller communities), I admit I often patronize them. Sometimes I even patronize them because I enjoy their "formula". Like I said recently in another thread, I love Arby’s sandwiches–I just don’t think of them as "roast beef". I think of them as bland mystery meat that makes a good foundation for buckets of Arby’s and "Horsey" sauce.
I do, however, especially resent chains that are unrestrained in their attack on the independents. For example, Starbucks and Subway, in their relentless attempt to put up a franchise on every developed block in America, not uncommonly plop themselves down directly next to (or across the street from) an independent selling, respectively, coffee or sandwiches. That, I find offensive and unnecessary.