And he's clearly claiming that it's not simply his opinion, rather it's the official word from Banzi. "take it up with Massimo Banzi"
THE SPECIFIC LINK
Please keep the content of the link separate from my opinions. The reason that I link to an official statement was because the issue of clones is complexed. Some clones license the Arduino trademark - that is good. Some clones are knock-off fake that try and sell themselves for profit by impersonating legitimate hardware - this is bad. In this world of clones, there is no gray, only black 'n white.
From the FAQ: http://arduino.cc/en/Main/FAQ
Most of the official Arduino boards are manufactured by SmartProjects in Italy. The Arduino Pro, Pro Mini, and LilyPad are manufactured by SparkFun Electronics (a US company). The Arduino Nano is manufactured by Gravitech (also a US company).
The official Arduino boards are the ones listed on the hardware page. These are boards whose manufacturers work with the Arduino team to ensure a good user experience, compatibility with the Arduino software, and a quality product. In return for their status as official boards, the manufacturers pay a licensing fee to the Arduino team to support the further development of the project.
In general, we restrict use of the name "Arduino" to the official boards. If you find a product under a different name but described as "Arduino compatible", it’s probably not an official board and doesn’t fund continued work on the project.
Read about Clones, Derivatives and Counterfeits by Massimo Banzi (Blog)
Learn about how to spot a counterfeit (Website)
So, if it is not listed here: http://arduino.cc/en/Main/Products?from=Main.Hardware
it is NOT OFFICIAL and NOT A LICENSED CLONE - the exception being the new Arduino Certified Intel Galileo.
Now, to the statement:
Since when does "develop on official hardware." translate into, "it is courteous to support this forum by purchasing some of the official hardware"?
That is exactly my opinion and it roughly parallels the opinion of Massimo Banzi in his Blog. Have you read it?
I am genuinely surprised by forum members lack of the understanding of the most basic of economics; someone must pay real cash to run this forum, buy servers, license software, and pay hardware administrators and other workers. This stuff is not free. Profit from the sale of true Arduino hardware and licensed clones is what generates that cash. If we do not support free enterprise, we will find ourselves like Wikipedia having to beg for donations. And those members too cheap to buy real hardware are very unlikely to be free enough with their moneys to give some away - rather, they will lurk in the darkness and get what they want by osmosis.
You support by buying a real product or licensed product or certified product in the hardware line that you are developing within... Uno/Nano/Mini/etc. for the 328, Mega2560 for the Atmega2560, Leonardo/Micro for the Atmega32U4 etc. For products that have no direct match into the Arduino family, such as the 1284, then we must use our best judgement. I support these by supporting members of this forum that donate a substantial amount of their time to the benefit of the forum.
NOWHERE can I find that ITead Studio is a good citizen in the Arduino environment.... If I am ignorant of them paying a licensing fee, please correct me with a link. I am not calling them bad, or good, but just a company that leverages the collective intelligence and good will of this forum and continuously refuses to provide any financial support. Would I buy a product from them? Yes, if I needed it but I would not utilize this forum in an effort to resolve an issue that I had with the product... I see non-supported as a warning flag to prospective buyers that they are on their own with ITead Studio - good luck with that.
But, this is just me and the way I operate. I don't like to see folks being cheap and then weighing down a freely provided infrastructure with their problems. It is the way I feel, I really do not care if members like the way I think or if they do not. I do not wish harm or evil or illness or even a tummy-ache or case of acne on anyone that does not feel as I feel, but it is my right to ask animatedly that the Arduino infrastructure be protected from cheapskates who buy on low-price and then annoy the heck out of the forum in an effort to resolve their self-created problem.
M. Ray Burnette