We all love Al, right? He's widespreadly loved for his patience, optimism, helpfulness and unconditional kindness.
Somehow, it seems, female characters with similar traits are frequently, even viciously hated. (See for example; Tohru from Fruits Basket) There's little tolerance among fans for meek or shy girls. (Sometimes, it's just an intolerance for girls in general, unless they have the ability to blow things up)
I suppose the point here, is that, as I've seen the argument in several topics, and thought some discussion about double standards might be in order.
So, theoretically, if Alphonse was with the same, only he was Edward's little sister, say, Alice, don't you suppose there might be more dislike for our younger Elric? That maybe there would be ridiculous fangirls posting on the gallery saying things along the lines of
"God, I hate Alice. She's such a useless character. She needed her brother to save her, and she should be grateful, but she can't fight worth crap and she's always getting kidnapped. And she's way too trusting of everyone. What an idiot. She's just a whiny little brat with a brother complex."
Similarly, if Edward had an old mechanic buddy back in Rizenbool, say "William", perhaps; a quirky energetic, happy-go-lucky kind of guy, who can't fight or do anything extraordinary, but still supports his friends, and cares about them, don't you suppose there'd be more comments about how cute it is that Edward has such a nice friend rather than complaints about uselesness, and how much time William spends with his shirt off?
Yeah, just a passing thought. I supposed people might want to add their opinions, positive, negative, or must-kill-Toby.