Are you saying this from personal experience or based on anecdotes from others? I am trying not to make the a priori assumption that because they are sunys they can not be good. I interviewed at Buffalo and Upstate so far and while Buffalo did seem weak, Upstate did come across as a strong program and I wondered if their location was the reason why there is a low demand for them. I plan on giving the same fair assessment to Stony Brook and Albany when I interview there. The other thing I would say is that the opposite isn't true either: just because you are an institution with a big name doesn't imply you are more education focused then service focused. I don't know why but I got the impression that NYU and Montefiore were more service focused and Cornell and Yale more education focused. Maybe thats not accurate so thats why I've learned to not trust my intuitions.
I have rotated at both SUNY Upstate (Syracuse) and Stony Brook and have a positive impression from both. I cannot endorse the opinion of anyone who feels like cheap labor at either institution. Also the attendings are pleasant to work with and I have not detected any "psychopathic" behavior. Both programs are committed to the education and success of their residents.