Not so much "hate" as befuddlement as to why these drums fetch such a premium and are so sought after. Whether a drum sounds like cardbord or not is dependent on a variety of factors. Player. Room. Head selection. Tuning. I'm not saying DW toms sound like cardboard due to any inherent design of the shells or hardware. But I am rarely impressed when I hear them live or on recordings. This is a consistent feature of these drums that I have noticed. It might have a lot to do with the stock heads. But, they also seem to choke out rather quickly, adding to the sense that they sound one-demensional, flat, and, well, like cardboard. All subjective, though.I am a non DW player (I own a Collectors maple snare that doesn't get a ton of use). I feel like people love to hate on DW but I don't see why. They are fantastic drums. The performance series is priced similarly to other drums in its league (Saturn, Starclassic ect) and the Collectors is priced higher due to endless options available. So why the hate? Just silly and ridiculous.
BTW, there are pretty much no drums sold these days over the $600 mark that sound bad or "like cardboard".