so why on earth did they tolerate Clark & Lana for so long?
I don't think anyone tolerated that.
to be frank after the whole "Save Ianto" rubbish, I think fangirl type behaviour should be ignored by the producers of TV shows, or do the exact opposite.
The show is on the CW. Got to do what the female audience wants at all costs.
It's why we get scenes where Oliver's naked but camera moves upwards just as Tess undoes one button on her blouse.