True enough - Kickstarter & crowdfunding isn't like ordering something from Amazon. Something folks forget sometimes.
For the 3D printer described in the link - that's a real scam based on this quote "And a year later, despite selling the product through retail channels, 60% of backers are still waiting." If you can supply a retail channel, you can supply the original backers and not doing so is fraud. If there is money anywhere (or business insurance), there's a class action lawsuit waiting to happen there.
As far as Earl is concerned, it's likely dead (although who knows maybe something positive is happening). But it's probably Jon simply can't get his act together and close it down per the Kickstarter rules.
But I've done a few Kickstarter and Indiegogo campaigns and found that most all are run by honest folks who ultimately deliver or make it right by their backers. This experience shouldn't turn off people who would like to help someone make a dream come true.