Saw the thread on GitP about this one, holy shit this is a stupid feat.
How did Paizo ever compete with 4E again?
Because some people hate 4th Edition's aesthetics so much that they'd rather stick with Paizo, "who are more in touch with gamers than those corporate fat cats at WotC!"
That last bit's exaggeration on my part, but not by much. While 4th Edition has it's faults, it was revolutionary for trying to fix some major problems of previous Editions. But those problems were such a large part of D&D that it felt "wrong" to a lot of people. Hell, gamers went nuts over the "Wizard getting nerfed" and the Fighter getting powers. 3rd Edition players, even, who should know better than anyone else!
Now I was reading a thread
over at The RPG Site, speculating what would have happened if Pathfinder went farther in fixing the Edition's problems. A few folks thought that the game would've become a niche market, only for another 3E retroclone to take their place in popularity.
I don't know if that's 100% accurate (Paizo's a very well-received company), but there are quite a few Pathfinder fans who wouldn't have jumped board otherwise. Pathfinder's definitely got a target market, but it's not for min-maxers and people interested in fixing the worst of 3.X's faults. A lot of the fanbase are folks who preferred 3rd Edition for familiarity, no problem with that. But then there's the Wizard Supremacy advocates who just have
to have their reality-breaking shenanigans, and the reactionary gamers who think that taking some inspiration from MMORPGs is a horrible betrayal. And apparently they're a significant enough segment of the D&D fanbase that WotC is taking steps backwards to bring them back into the fold with Next.
There's also the OGL, which is less restrictive than the GSL. Leading to more 3rd Party support, which makes Pathfinder seem more accessible and widespread. Although I don't know how much of a role that plays, considering that the Pathfinder SRD's free and their books are hideously expensive.