No, the real reason is that at one time, people closely identified Sony media with being branded Taiyo Yuden or Made in Japan at Sony’s own plant, and once that stopped, people stopped thinking about Sony. It was a psychological forgetting, based on disappointment and nostalgia. Once many of the branded medias that used to be Made in Japan stopped producing media in Japan, they began to be looked upon with indifference at best, and disgust at worst. Only Verbatim has been able to maintain it’s reputation over time, being a media that was once primarily made in Singapore (a place revered as much as Japan), and then becoming a mainly outsourced media made in Taiwan, and now even India. It’s not that people don’t think that Sony is good, but they just haven’t put the effort into really testing it to the point where they can trust it not just for everyday use, but archival use. That’s another unspoken issue as well. When people recommend media wholeheartedly, what they’re recommending is what they think is the best archival grade media, even if they don’t say that explicitly. The inertia from Taiyo Yuden and Verbatim’s reputation has always caused Sony/Daxon media to be marginalized, even though it’s a lot better than given credit for, and could possibly be trusted as an archival media. The other huge issue is compatibility. There are situations where Sony media will not burn that well in some burners. The reason that people keep sounding like broken records in recommending Taiyo Yuden or Verbatim is that over time, it has come to be a kind of accepted wisdom that they are the safest choices for media, meaning that even the crappiest burner on the planet can burn a TY or Verb disc halfway decently. Sony is good media, but not all burners handle it as well. The last factor is harder to quantify, but basically, as Sony has switched from producing media themselves in Japan (yes, there used to be a LOT of it), to producing media in Taiwan with the help of Daxon, to now starting to switch their production to Malaysia, people have begun to feel less certain about Sony media, not that they think it’s bad or the quality has dropped, but they don’t feel that they know the media like they used to, and certainly not well enough to always recommend it. It’s going to take some time for people to get used to the new MIM Sony identity, before it jumps onto everyone’s recommended list again.
With all that said, the original poster does have a point. Sony is the one company out there who’s manufacturing process is almost the same as Verbatim, and in some ways better than Verbatim, and yet Sony get’s no respect. Unlike Verbatim, Sony works with pretty much only one manufacturer for 99% of it’s media, and that company is Daxon (only a small 1% or so is produced by Lead Data). Up until very recently, Sony media was pretty much only made in one country, but now it’s two, however with Verbatim, the number of countries is now at three and who knows where next. Just like Verbatim, no matter who makes Sony media or what country it’s made in, the media is made with Sony materials, using Sony specifications, and with Sony media codes. If anything, Sony is the relatively more “knowable” and trustworthy media.