You're right, agree most of that, though the large range in room effects would make such objective measurements pretty useless as a means by which to communicate the performance of a product, so we test near field to eliminate those significant variables. And you're absolutely right, each transducer will sound different in every room with all other system variables kept equal, probably more so than say the range of variation that we might see measuring a population of HRTF; so applying a similar Harman approach to establish a standard living room probably won't cover enough of the normal distribution of users to make it of any value.
Just an observation (I have no data for this, so big caveat) that across multiple forums, less so ASR, that there is a greater proportion of disappointed buyers than you would normally expect for the 5 star rave products - usually the more populist forums are full of excited chatter about how great it is, just like the expert reviewer said, I don't see this as strongly for the Debut speakers.
I've read the description of boring and underwhelming, especially at low volumes, associated with a product that has been designed to be ultra low distortion and faithful as possible. How often in the early days of CD did we hear the complaint that is was cold or clinical? Possibly useful adjectives to describe low distortion and greater resolution perhaps? It's a vague association I know, but it's a pattern.
Like I said, I have no data to back this up by the way, just an observation, so I could be wrong, maybe it is just that room variation - which is more likely for users frequenting this forum than others. It's probably reasonable to presume that users of ASR are generally of a much more discerning fact based perspective; this is not so the case in the more hysterical groups, many of whom are almost religious in their distaste for measurement and ASR.
Perhaps I didn't explain the logic so clearly, but then it was a throwaway comment: not everyone on ASR is objective, as not everyone on some of the other general consumer forums are limited to subjective opinion, so no I don't argue your last point. That's not what I meant at all. Arguably, ASR members are more likely to realise the impact of the room response, and try to measure it, and use that to aid a purchasing decision, and / or use some form of DSP room correction since most if use digital sources. That, or move house, which sometimes fixes the issue!