No, I do not think that cameras are 'good enough' for an enthusiast photographer that they should simply assume any one will satisfy their needs OR that a buyer should take the manufacture's word for it.
An enthusiast understands features and has a sense of what features are most important to him or her. Knowing which camera truly provides those features is important. For example, most cameras state they offer high-ISO, but often get there with different methods, many leading to significant noise, or shutter speed trade-offs. Camera reviews are essential to understanding these trade-offs.
Each camera provides trade-offs, and remember that pricing has little to do with cost, and everything to do with image. In other words, cameras are priced to place them in a category more than to reflect the cost of manufacture. A Canon 60D does not likely cost much more than a Canon 1000D, but is priced higher to place it in the enthusiast, or semi-pro category.
I think comparing ACROSS reviews is difficult at best, and misleading at worst. Because each review 'site' uses different criteria and values different things in cameras, trying to garner a consensus from several sites will only end in confusion and frustration.
Several sites have a defined evaluation process and method and repeat this for each review. These sites have significant consistency, and allow direct comparison of one camera to the other. Sites such as DPReview.com, imaging-resource.com, Steve's DigiCam are good, established sites.