There's no denying that some people seem to have had issues with the Atom Life, and i seem to remember at least one person reporting a faulty device which was replaced.
However, I've had no issues with mine. Battery is on par (24 hours or so on UMTS, 1.5-2x on GSM) but I was perfectly happy with speed (other than the odd slowdown due to 64mb ram), reliability and camera quality in particular. I've attached a few samples and never noticed issues others have reported.
I wonder if there was a dodgy batch, or if the latest MWg's are a newer revision?