Very well said.<rant>
I think that while looking back at an owner's past servers to assess how their latest server will go usually gives an accurate assessment, some servers just have to be given the benefit of the doubt. Not all servers are like the dreaded F.... [nope, I have forgotten what it was called!] KO server, run by grobar (or such).
Although it's clear he desperately didn't want to have himself associated, even lying when confronted with the 'accusation', I can sort of understand the reason behind it, and am not entirely sure this alone is reason to dismiss the server.
Being dishonest about who's running things definitely doesn't help, but at the same time, if he had just told the truth from the start he'd be confronted with much the same dismissal, due to his past servers.
I think it's fair to say that peoples' problems with his servers (abandoning after a while, and presumably the associated "running off with the $") can be attributed to most servers; most servers struggle to last all that long, anyway.
In the past, if memory serves, his servers have really always had a pretty decent start, and were enjoyed. One would hope that he'd try to not repeat the same mistakes twice, so if you consider that every failure is a step closer to success, it definitely seems to be holding true so far.
Certainly, I wouldn't discount the possibility that this server will do OK. It's been a while since the last one, and he really needs to make the effort to show that he's not going to do what he's apparently "known to do" (again, being dishonest from the start really doesn't help there), but I think if he does, it could be a decent server. He just needs to put in the effort, and show that he wants to improve, which honestly could use a lot of work at this stage.
Also, I'm not trying to dismiss what's happened in the past, but really: that was in the past. Obviously it shouldn't be forgotten, merely taken with a grain of salt, and players should simply have faith that he wants to improve & not repeat the same mistakes (again though, that whole dishonesty thing is a huge setback to this, but it's too late now. Can be hard to have faith in someone that's been dishonest with you.).
So, while his past servers may be some indication to the contrary, consider how far apart they were spaced. Consider that priorities change, heck, people change.
It seems everyone's taking a slightly biased view of things: basing their opinions on what happened at the end of the server's life, and neglecting everything good about it.
If the problem is purely him potentially abandoning ship, perhaps he should be looking to address that in some way; maybe a reliable co-owner, or simply dropping back to a developer role & allowing someone else to manage it.
In this case, having a team with assigned roles would be a really good idea; losing one person doesn't mean the end of the server and leaves them the option of coming back when/if they're ready to do so.
Disclaimer: I probably don't have all the details about his past servers, I'm just going from what I've picked up on. If nothing of what I said makes sense/applies, oh well -- just ignore the poor lost & confused duck sitting in the corner.