Here is a top ten list of reasons why I think people can say they love the dreamcast and mean it(mostly my reasons though).
1.For me at least, the dreamcast was the first system all stores got behind selling. It was the system I could find games for nearly anywhere. Retailers were excited and it was really the first time I started trading games and things at places like gamestop to get games.
2.It had internet capabilites, if you wanted to play online it was either everquest on pc, or the dreamcast network. I remember leveling at least 6 characters to nearly max on Phantasy Star Online. I literally could not stop playing that game. I dont believe xbox live would exist in its form today if it werent for dreamcast network.
3.Most people were waiting for the promised naomi arcade ports to flood the system like sega told us they would, except they didnt unfortunately. I did love House of the Dead 2 though. I must have logged at least 180 plus hours into that game and got a 5 stars in every bonus mission available.
4. Most people loved the dreamcast because it was the first time sega built a system completely on its own merits. They didnt plan any strange expansions or any pieces that needed to be bought later they just made a hardware set and hoped for the best.(If you didnt own a Master system or a Genesis you wouldnt understand this reason)
5.The vmu is still the best memory card doohickey thingie invented for a system. I know people hoped for all the amazing things they said it would do. I did enjoy the virtual pet missions some games gave to it. Primarily Zombie revenge and the sonic adventures.
6. Most people I know enjoyed the online multiplayer you just couldnt get on a console anywhere else(double reason but who cares).
7. People still enjoyed Sonic in those days.
8. Most people I know loved it because they could mod it easily(even though I've always bought my games)
9. Because people will always love the potential of what could have been then what acutally was.
10. Most hardcore dreamcast lovers I know that speak and can read japanese had games to buy for this system up until a few years ago with all the shooters in japan being released.
@Yojimbo(in response to my last short post which apparently was not a big enough wall of text)
Where was I when it launched?
Outside the store waiting to buy my system and launch games
Like you sir I bought nearly every game I could afford when they came out and when I couldnt I traded games to get them.
I loved the dreamcast more than Sega could let me and when they stopped making games I even tried to order some from Japan but after the third time my order got lost in the mail I gave up hope from buying dreamcast games overseas. I loved the system and Ill be ashamed if I said I didnt. If Sega ever got the balls to release a new system id have that thing paid off months in advance before it launched and buy all its launch games.