I also have a hard time why Avenged Sevenfold constantly keep getting knocked. Sure they are not as heavy as they used to be and to me I think that's for the best. I take songwriting over Heaviness any day.
So they are bit more Mainstream now...So What? What band doesn't try to get more accessible to try to get new fans? Only a handful of bands never change their sound, and very few pull it off (Slayer). I appreciate bands that are will to expieriment musically, it makes it a hell of a lot more interesting to listen to, unless they experiment with shit. A7X has yet to suck IMO.
Also the Rev is one of the reasons I got into Metal, so they will always be a great band to me. Having my biggest influence on drums, Mike Portnoy playing doesn't hurt either.