It's the technology you should be considering and in this case, the technology is DOCSIS. One manufacturer's technology isn't any better than another because DOCSIS is a standard or protocol. Perhaps consider the latest version of this technology: 3.1.
I don't know if 1 manufacturer's hardware is any better than another because I'll assume all these boards, chips and connectors come from the same places.
As for the mixed reviews, I don't feel a lot of these reviewers know what they're talking about. If they can't figure something or research a problem, they'll call the something junk. Just because someone gave an opinion, it doesn't mean it's a credible opinion.
Stick with the "big" brands, future-proof with the latest version and you'll be okay.