But you can search for "___ is a piece of crap" and fill in the name of any widely-used application and find thousands of hits. Name any app with hundreds of millions of users, and you're bound to find tons of people reporting problems, though as you say, most of the problems are on the user's side (obsolete application version, problems with internet connection).
Are you positive that you have the absolute newest version of iTunes, and not just the newest version that will work on your operating system? One guy I work with kept reporting iTunes download problems, and when I asked him if he had the newest version he kept insisting he did. When I finally asked to see his laptop, I found he was two major revisions behind on iTunes. He said "I kept telling iTunes to check for updates, and iTunes told me I had the newest version."
What was happening was that he had a 5 year old operating system, and the version of iTunes was the most current that would run on that OS. At the moment I'm helping him upgrade his operating system so he can run the newest iTunes.
If you're using Vista or Windows 7 or Mac OS 10.7 (and thus able to run iTunes 10.5.x) then you can rule this out.