It's much the same in enthusiast reviews of anything, really. Someone could tell me that the Blu-ray of a movie has the sharpest 1080p video and best-sounding 7.1 lossless audio... but I may still hate that movie. The question is whether the product itself is up to par. Also, the enthusiast press tends to be people who are as into this hobby as you, with some of the same biases... Whether you trust individual reviewers is up to you, because that's typically about their pedigree. For instance, I'm not familiar with Gene DellaSalla, so anything I read from him, I focus mostly on the numbers and not how he thinks it sounds. But a review from someone like John E. Johnson, Jr. over at Secrets, I tend to give a little more weight to his opinion of the amp's character, because I'm familiar with his experience with many brands and his knowledge.
Speaking of which, he just reviewed the XPR-1 as well: