My personal opinion as follows.
It was the Marvel comics which hooked me as a fan. I was probably aware of the cartoon and toys first, as it all began when I was probably a little young to be reading (and understanding) the comics.
As I got older, I came to understand that the man writing the comics all but invented the characters in terms of personalities, motivations, goals, and even some powersets, as specified on the toy tech-specs and elaborated on in the TF Universe profiles.
His successor on the comics expanded the universe in unexpected and original ways, reassigning certain gimmicks and tropes to flesh out the culture and history, even the very origins of the race.
By and large, these two gentlemen in that one universe established everything which matters about TransFormers, and every version which came later has either referenced or flat out used these historical points and touchstones.
The TransFormers (and I am loath to even add "Generation One") is where it all started, the focal point which every later incarnation springs, refers to, and inevitably is compared to. Just because it is old, does not mean we should "forget", "let go" or "move on". It's a point of view I cannot understand. It's also why I'm so excited for the continuation.
I look at it this way; Back in the 1960's, both The Incredible Hulk and Uncanny X-Men were cancelled. What would the world be like now if they weren't given a second chance? Or Amazing Spider-Man,that is the original version which everyone goes back to, yet in the following years we still got the offshoots like 2099, Mangaverse, Noir, Spider-Ham, Unlimited, India, Fairy Tales, Ultimate, etc etc. Does getting these later takes make the original less valid? No.
So that's my opinion of TransFormers. We can have all these later versions, that's all well and good. But it doesn't mean the original should not recieve the love and respect that it does, and in my opinion the comic should have been able to run for as long as there were stories to tell. And if all the later incarnations tell us anything, it's that this frachise has an infinite number of stories to tell.
It's a tragedy that Hasbro seem to be disinterested in The TransFormers as it originated. And I simply cannot get excited about their proposed aligned continuity, because they feel like they are aligning everything to the wrong place.
TransMasters UK have a long history of producing fan fiction which did a far better job of alignment. They began during Generation 2 and continued on, and every new series to come out from then on was cleverly fit into the continuity they had continued from that original Marvel source. That is what an aligned continuity should be, in my opinion, as the original IS the beginning of it all and should be respected and treated as such.
Print me easy!