Will Wilkinson has a good anti-conflationist piece on Rand, here. (CHT Charles Johnson.) I posted the following quibble:
Excellent piece (and on related points see also my posts Ayn Rands Left-Libertarian Legacy and Ayn Rand and the Capitalist Class); but I think I disagree with you about the benevolent-universe premise; when she says that success is metaphysically normal, I dont think she means this to entail that success (or even the possibility of success) is statistically normal. Admittedly I think she perhaps sometimes slides from the former to the latter in her later writings (as in her changing views on charity); but if so, that was a mistaken inference and doesnt impugn the principle itself. By analogy (to make a Michael Thompson-y point): even if some plague caused most lions to be born with three legs, it would still be true that the lion is a four-legged animal or that being four-legged is normal for lions.