I mean, if you just started watching the show I could understand how he is hated. He was selfish, a loner, mean, whatever. However as the show progressed he became of the most well rounded characters in t.v. history in my opinion.
The Scene with Kate in season 1 when she reads the letter and he snatches out of her hand "Don't you feel sorry for me, get out". That scene right there was so powerful it gave me chills.
His developing a close friendship with Hurley, looking out for Claire in Season 4, His love with Juliet, And can you honestly say you weren't happy when he finally killed Anthony Cooper?
His Chemistry with the people I listed above just made it all so much better. His talks with Jack, like in Exodus when he let him know he met Christian, one of the most moving scenes of season 1.
The whole first half of season 3 in the cages were owned by Sawyer, he really made that watchable, Ben and Him together was always good, and his fights with Pickett were so emotionally draining.
Jumping off the Helicopter to try and help save everyone was probably the most heroic thing aside from Jack's sacrifice in the entire show.
And if you could honestly sit there and not laugh at his really quick comebacks and nicknames than you don't have a sense of humor.
I think if you watch a show like Lost and really hate any character, you don't fully appreciate it.
I for example kind of dislike Kate and Ana Lucia, the only ones I ever disliked on the show, but I saw where they were needed and important. And I think what made me dislike Kate wasn't her or the acting, it was the love triangle thing, to me that was the only thing that made lost similar to any other show. But I did feel for Kate, she was a great character. And Ana Lucia, I don't like butchy girls lol, but her acting was good, I just wish she would have let her defense down more to make her likable.
But yeah, Sawyer was the best, Josh Holloway was an amazing actor and he deserved an Emmy this year as well.