First and probably last post here:
I purchased a bare CS406 in July 2007 for >$500. After adding 4 disks, the total cost was close to 1k, which made this a substantial investment. The decision to EOL this product occured 1/2009, less than 1.5 years later. For a 4-bay network data appliance, this seems like an unacceptable amount of time.
The shipping firmware worked fine, even if it was rough and unpolished. I chalked it up to Synology being a smaller company, and it was something I expected when I made my purchase. As time went on and regular firmware updates were released, I was pleasantly surprised as things got better and better. I started to tell my friends about Synology and how they've differentiated themselves from the competition by providing regular updates. This is a compelling story. When people came over and saw my setup, I had nothing but good things to say about Synology, a company that none of them had heard of before.
I think the regular firmware updates built you some goodwill with us, your customers. You are still a relative unknown (at least here in the US) amongst other names and products -- drobo, netgear/infrant, buffalo. Amongst the nerdier set, there's qnap and thecus, too. And the space is only going to get bigger and more crowded with larger CE names -- I saw LG announce a NAS at this past CES 2009. Throw in consumer-friendly Windows Home Server products from HP, and even products like Apple's time capsule / Apple TV and really, where does that leave Synology? Why abandon the momentum you've built with your best and loudest customers? We are early product adopters who are willing to take a chance on "no-name" because we have the technical expertise to overlook rough and unpolished products.
Here's the thing Synology: in late 2007, this space was still relatively new. I was grateful for the firmware/application updates. But that's not the case anymore in 2009 -- you have competitors, namely data robotics, that have very compelling 3rd-party apps. So really, these updates are no longer "favors" so much as they are (or should be) par for the course. By cutting off support to us, you're moving the Synology experience backwards, not forward. And I will remember that when it comes time to replace my Synology, or when I talk to people about my home NAS setup.
And ultimately, it sucks all the more because I really doubt that the C406 cannot be supported. I can kinda get it for the consumer-level devices, but this leaves a very unpleasant taste in my mouth.