There's something to be said for appliance cars. Most new cars today are appliances. By "appliance," I mean when it's working, you barely notice it's there. Like a furnace, refrigerator, or toaster. People who complain about the CVT simply don't like appliance cars that have things like CVTs, electric power steering, or infotainment. They like noisy, mechanical drivetrains with old school stereos and hydraulic power steering with lots of feedback to remind them that they're driving a complicated machine. They learn every little nuance in every sound, twitch, and rattle and develop an emotional connection to the car because of it. That's what they're used to, so anything different is distracting and unfamiliar, therefore automatically bad. If you don't like appliance cars, good luck keeping your 2002 Honda Accord on the road (assuming you don't blow the transmission).
I love my Outback with its CVT, cushy driver aids, and flashy gadgets. It gets me to my destination safely and comfortably.
Here's a little:
I like my VDC. I like the CVTs. The whole purpose behind the CVT is to maintain power and torque output for a smooth gear ratio transition during acceleration, whether it's a calm drive or spirited. This does a number of things that is beneficial to the car as a whole, as well as to the owner. Since the CVT does not allow for drastic rpm changes, the torque stays constant which reduces wear on the engine and drivetrain. Not just the engine and transmission, but also the axles, suspension, wheel bearings. bushings, differentials and body. The automatics that allow for torque changes put stress on every part of the car and over time this contributes to wear. Since the CVT is gradual ratio changes, this reduces stress on the car.
Fuel efficiency combined with torque transfer is another plus for the CVT. Since the torque band is constant, fueling the car is constant rather than sporadic based on your foot and the shifting of the gears. Every time the auto shifts, the fuel load changes because the engine torque demand changes. This includes conservative driving because you still have the up/down rpm and load equations.
It's been my personal experience that other than software glitches that come up after a redesign, the CVT has been reliable in all of Subaru's lineup. Where I've seen break downs in the mechanical operation of the CVT, it's been related to poor electrical source (the battery), lack of maintenance, ignoring signs of potential issues, or abuse. You can't treat a car like an appliance. Unlike your refrigerator that doesn't need constant attention, your car is your lifeline and requires constant awareness and care. When you buy a new refrigerator, you plug it in and load it and visit it occasionally. You spend more time with your car than the refrigerator, I'm sure. A refrigerator will need to be cleaned once in a while, while your car needs gas, oil, tires, brakes, belts, AC service, cleaning, waxing, a rear spoiler, new wheels, a front lip, new lights. I digress.
Some people like to find things to complain about. Other people look for and live for the opposite; they find solutions and learn from what goes on around them. I agree with Brucey and others. New and different can be scary and takes getting used to. If you don't like it, change it to something you think you will. Then you have a new series of things to find wrong instead of seeing what's right with it.