God dammit when will people learn? She isn't getting the Dragonite effortlessly and it's not being handed to her for free. It doesn't come off as cheap due to the fact that she bonds with it and helps it out.
Ash's Krokorok is going to evolve into a powerful Krookodile JUST before all this happens and I don't see ANYBODY complaining. Sure its trained, but Ash still got a power up. Iris trained to be a Dragon Master with her Axew, the Druddigon and the lonely Deino. Getting a Dragonite in which SHE RISKS HER LIFE TO CALM DOWN AND GET is not cheap at all. It's only lame if she gets a lot of wins with it in the tournament.