Erica was beloved by virtually the entire audience, good stories or bad. She never dismantled the show. Sonny, not so much. You don't have to like her, but that's the way it was. The reaction to Babe. the Careys, Ryan, etc. in those years was far more negative and tethered to what Brian Frons and Megan McTavish did to the show.
Maybe it was the era in question, but I just remember feeling all through out the 00's that Erica was this untouchable goddess and everyone else were the equivalent of street urchin's compared to her, and everyone knew it. Perhaps it wasn't intentionally supposed to come off that way, but that was the way it felt. Erica had a tremendous amount of plot armor similar to the likes of Victor Newman, Sonny Corinthois and Stefano Dimera, just of a different kind.