Duke is one of the elite MBA programs by virtually any measure. I have heard criticisms of various schools along similar lines that School X had inflated its rank and that its presence among the top schools was somehow unjustified. In general, I patiently listen to these allegations then ask the commentator for some supporting evidence. In addition, I would consider the source of the allegations very carefully since these stories often have a provenance reminiscent of an urban legend (my girlfriend’s cousin’s best friend knows the hairdresser of the guy who said that his friend overheard it from some guy who works in the Dean’s office . . .).
I think that many would agree that the general reputation of this particular school does not rise to the level of the reputations of schools like Stanford, Chicago, or Penn. Nonetheless, I would have to question someone who claimed that Duke was not perceived to be among the elite MBA programs in terms of general reputation.