I was having a slightly annoying conversation about Sam Gamgee yesterday. Annoying mostly because I still get the feeling that the person I was talking to was dancing around what they really meant: that Sam was better than Frodo and should have been the ringbearer. I get so irritated by this interpretation of the story. Most Sam-fans (by which I mean people for whom Sam is the their favorite character here--I consider myself a big Sam-fan but my favorite character would obviously be Frodo) that I know don't see things this way. They love him without disliking Frodo, admire his gifts without resentfully looking for things he's denied. But there's always those few who, imo, completely distort the point of the story through their interpretation of Sam.
I think I'm more sensitive to seeing the minority Sam opinion, though, because it reminds me so much of Scullyists in X-files fandom. By the end of the show it seemed like there weren't many Philes who could love Scully without it being just a way to express contempt for Mulder. It occurs to me, though, that these two characters, perhaps because they fill the same role in their Quests, naturally attract this kind of thing.( Some spoilers for ROTK within. )