Warning: this is a long post, potentially off-topic, but from my perspective.
Part of the problem with Elemental was that Stardock promised more then what they were capable of delivering, which is why the game came out in the state it did. Stardock was overambitious, which can result in bad design even with the best intentions. It was unreasonable to expect a small studio to produce a game as good as MoM, while doing it on an all new graphical engine, while producing Stardock-level AI to boot. Even Blizzard or Valve would have problems doing that with a much larger budget. Brad overestimated Stardock's capabilities, which was a bad decision. This isn't a slam on the employees at Stardock, who are good at what they do, but the problem was they were asked to do way too much, as seen by the crunch time, which SD didn't have as much of in GC2 I believe (correct me if I'm wrong here, but I do remember Brad a few years ago claiming that his employees rarely did crunch and usually worked 40 hr weeks, which I think is a GOOD thing- as rested coders do better work.)
Brad has done a really good job though of getting Stardock into a shape where they able to realize the ambition Elemental has. It might even put Stardock's gaming side in better shape then what would have happened if Brad made a better decision originally- which will likely make Stardock more money in the long-term. I like how the private companies like SD and Valve are able to think in the long-term, which is something companies like EA/Ubi/Take 2 often fail to do, due to having to satisfy shareholders. This is why Brad's able to risk taking a short-term loss on Elemental and supporting it fully- it's not just because Brad's a nice guy who wants to give everyone a pony. It's because, in the long term, customer satisfaction= more likely to pre-order/ speak positively about game = more sales at higher prices= more profits.
Really, the fans do ask for plenty- but there's nothing wrong with that. Fans should be demanding of the people they give their money to, and Stardock does a better job then most of trying to meet that demand. I often say I am a very demanding customer, and I am. There aren't many companies that come close to meeting my demands. This is one of those that do.
Brad often talks about how he is uncomfortable with customers being loyal to companies. This is another area where I disagree. SD has earned loyalty with their past practices- and this is why I (and many other longtime fans) were able to stay patient with SD through the Elemental debacle, and why our reaction were different then many mainstream gamers, who just saw the bad and not the good. You can see this in the reaction to Elemental and its launch in various gaming forums, and the vastly different responses from Stardock fans and other gamers. It makes good business sense to keep your customers satisfied, for that gives you more leeway when things do go wrong. This is why Brad is one of the better CEO's in gaming to me at least.
One thing I can say: the efforts of Stardock to fix Elemental have not gone unnoticed in the general gaming world. You've done a lot to re-earn the reputation as a studio that tries to do the right thing. Now, all that's left is to execute and make Elemental good.