Browsing the 'net, all you see are two sides going at it as soon as someone brings up Panther
Panther = junk and an AT gun; waste of resources; Sherman/T-34 was %%.%% more effective!
Panther = god tank
Objectively from all I can see, it was close enough to late/early post war heavies and mediums of other nations with all having pluses and minuses compared to one another, but all good enough; Pershing, T-44 and Centurion 1 were all competitive with one another, and Panther came before those (so, a + there). And 1 for 1, it was clearly an overmatch against the older mediums of all nations. So, to malign one, you may as well malign the others. Panther was unreliable with its final drive, but then again the others weren't the most reliable around either.
I guess I'm just not seeing why there's so many extremes around.