There's a bit of tempering, for me - Robb rightly points out the danger of falling into the old gun rag trap of every gun being the brightest and shiniest and greatest thing since the percussion cap out of fear that a "bad" review will cut off the T&E stream. This, though, is balanced by the shame I would feel if someone went out and bought something based in part on my recommendation and I didn't fully cover the item, faults and all.
And let's face it, there's nothing out there that's perfect.
I've reviewed a fair number of new firearms for T&E purposes, and I have yet to have one that didn't have some minor glitch somewhere along the way. It might be a light strike on certain ammunition, or failure to load a round with a bulge near the crimp, or an occasional stovepipe. None of the pistols I've reviewed has run flawlessly. None. I've taken notes every time I've brought a T&E gun to the range (well, most times; sometimes a T&E gun is in the range bag and will get shot for fun). Every gun has a glitch or two along the way.
And as long as I include these glitches in my reviews, I feel that I've done my job as a reviewer. I won't review a gun without putting at least 500 rounds through it, and generally strive for closer to 1,000 rounds to be on the safe side. Part of this testing is letting the gun get filthy dirty and seeing how long it takes for something to go wrong (and no, I'm not including failures from a dirty gun in the last paragraph about glitches). While I will admit this is far from a thorough or exhaustive procedure, I'm confident that 7-10 range trips of 100 rounds or more each will give a pretty good snapshot of a firearm's performance.
Case in point: DaddyBear bought a Smith & Wesson 22A based in part on a review I did for Guns, Holsters, & Gear. Now, in that case, I was pleased as punch to hear that, because the 22A is just a fantastic little rimfire at a great price, and the model that I was shooting was nothing short of amazing. It got finicky and dirty at the end of each range session, but until it got to the point where it started bogging due to grime, it was a sheer joy to shoot. For the money I don't think there's a better gun out there, and I'll defend that suggestion all day long. Even feeling that way, I was apprehensive as hell until he posted that he was happy with it - I'd have been crushed if he hadn't been.
The process, really, is moderately self-selecting. I've had offers of items to review that I've passed on, sometimes because I didn't know enough about the product to properly test it out, sometimes because I didn't have enough time, or, in a few cases, I took one look at the item and couldn't possibly see how it could work in a real life setting. The items that I have reviewed have been things that have interested me to begin with - my first reviews ever were for the LaserLyte RSLs, which caught my eye in a gun magazine and I posted about them.
There won't be a Cobra Arms Derringer showing up any time soon, in other words.
I will typically post three different times about a review article. There will be a "hey, look what I got" post; a post with initial impressions, and then a "down the road" post with information on how the item held up over the long(er) term. I've got LA Police Gear Operator tactical pants that I received several years ago that have made their way into general rotation and literally get worn on a weekly basis. The SIG SAUER .22LR conversion kit for the P226 that I got last year has taken up permanent residence on the P226. Generally, I'll try to get some honest use out of whatever it is I'm trying out.
Lastly, I'm not a grand master of gun-fu. I'm not an IDPA or IPSC participant (although I would like to be). I don't put thousands of rounds downrange every weekend; heck, I'm lucky if I can get to the range more than twice a month. I'm just an average guy who happens to like guns. If you're looking for a review of the latest Blastomatic 5000 and how it holds up under extreme torture tests, it's unlikely to be here. If you're a bullseye shooter looking for thoughts on the latest custom built match gun, also not likely.
If you're a regular gunnie looking for a regular gunnie's thoughts on guns and gear that regular gunnies use, I'd like to think that MArooned is the place.
That is all.