This doesn't really seem like a fair competition as there are too many different categories to try to lump them into just one sum of "Best Hardware". Are we looking at best performance for the price? Best overall performance? Best for Mini-ITX form factor? The list goes on.
From that, I can see different parts in each category depending on the users need.
I never understood the concept of Reader's Awards. It's more like "Popularity Awards". The thing which is more popular wins which is not probably the best thing in the category. How can one person own more than 10 different products in the same category to actually analyse and vote for that category?
(I don't think NZXT H440 is the best case available)
It's all too subjective. Each vote depends on each persons circumstances and needs. As an example who would choose a 17" monitor over a higher resolution 22" or 24" HD resolution monitor? My brother- that's what his computer desk/storage desk allows. Different people have different budgets, different uses. It's all so pointless, it's just a way for the site to suck people in to gain traffic- is there any other *real* reason for these 'surveys'?
People will always practice self-justification and defend their purchase decision even where there are other better options out there, it's human nature. They don't make mistakes, know best, and buy the 'right' parts. Anyone who buys anything else is clearly not getting the best thing.
If there really was only one best thing then price could drop as manufacturing costs would drop significantly by building one standard item. We'd lose innovation and choice, but hey- we'd all have the 'best'.
It boils down to these surveys being only useful for one thing- increasing web site traffic so advertising revenues increase. Which, oddly, helps those who enjoy participating in pointless surveys......