I believe that if the Sox had made the playoffs at least 2 more times since 2005 that the general mood about the direction of the franchise would be much different, even with this disastrous season being part of the picture. That is really what has been missing... sustained success. Being the only original 16 franchise that hasn't made back-to-back postseason appearances is a drag, to say the least. Having said that, the OP's point is valid. Let's not pretend that the Sox have been the absolute dregs of the AL in the past 10-15 years. Lot's of work to be done, no doubt, but not cause for the depths of despair, either.
"I have the ultimate respect for White Sox fans. They were as miserable as the Cubs and Red Sox fans ever were but always had the good decency to keep it to themselves. And when they finally won the World Series, they celebrated without annoying every other fan in the country." Jim Caple, ESPN (January 12, 2011)
"We have now sunk to a depth at which the restatement of the (bleeding) obvious is the first duty of intelligent men." — George Orwell