I think Minolta knew quite well the flash system as it stood at the end of the film era and at the beginning of the digital age needed some tweaking here and there, but it was by no means broken, going by my experience with it anyway. While I was at DPR there were a lot of complaints about flash issues using a variety of bodies lenses and flashes, the bodies then were mainly the 7D, 5D and the A100.
In the main anyone using any of those bodies with a (D) lens and either a 5600HSD, 3600HSD, F56, F36 flash and ADI flash (direct flash) experienced (like me) very few problems, I have also used mine with TTL bounce without any problems 99% of the time as well. The problems (most of them) stemmed from either user error, wrong settings, or non ADI compatible lenses, third party lenses not compatible with the Minolta flash system, third party flashes also not compatible with the Minolta flash system, and or incorrect composition for taking a flash photo altogether, such as, foreground objects in the field of view that take up a significant amount of frame real-estate causing them too be overexposed, the background being exposed approximately ok, or conversely the foreground object exposed ok and the background underexposed, both sometimes included the main subject/s. Some of the errors were simply that the area and depth attempted, composition wise, would only be properly exposed by a couple of powerful off camera flashes carefully positioned and tested, and far beyond the scope of a single on camera flash, aside from these, there were a few apparently genuine and mysterious exposure issues, apart from mistakes. I came too the conclusion (based on my sometime errors and setup flubs) that it IS occasionally possible too "de-stabilize" the flash system for a short while, the only solution that I found was do a number of flash exposures that are within the range and capabilities of the system, as many as it takes until the system returns to normal, sometimes half dozen or more, but I allowed the system that small occasional idiosyncrasy...seeing as how I caused it anyway.
With regard to the Minolta Macro flash system, as far as I'm concerned it was working fine with the KM7D the KM5D and the A100, there was no need for Sony to scrap the Ringflash component and introduce a silly copy-stand light in it's place, and as Sony have never bothered to respond too any of my or anyone elses questions on the subject, none of us know exactly why they did it..it's a mystery.
A compadre of mine, Walter Knapp, a long time and accomplished macro shooter over at DPR, already had a Minolta Macro flash set (complete) and used it extensively on his KM7D (and later the A700) without any problems. When he heard that Minolta were closing down the camera div. he purchased another complete Minolta Macro flash set (controller, twin flash, and ring flash) as a backup...very wise, I should have purchased a set myself, and would have, if I'd known what Sony was going to do, it just never occurred to me that a camera company could be so stupid.