I'm confused. Are you saying that they do affect the lens (second excerpt), or that they don't (first excerpt)? I feel I must be misunderstanding you somewhere.
I agree with the general sentiment, though---you rarely know much about the samples of old lenses on which people are basing their opinions, and there are lots of different criteria on which to judge. One person's "soft" is another's "glowing", and whatever you call it, it works in some images and not others.
Stephen Gandy says good things about the Summar too, IIRC.
It's sarcasm. Rather heavy handed at that.
Read some feepay ads, nothing seems to affect a lens' performance unless it's been squashed in a hydraulic press.