I agree that it's better to have an open mind about things, and that if you're going to have a list it's often better to have a list of positive characteristics which would impress you rather than a list of negative ones which are turn-offs. That being said, I think there's nothing wrong with having a short list of dealbreakers; a few things which aren't negotiable.
However, I think the point of the original post was more about behaviors on dates which people find really irritating. Not that I'm an expert or anything, but a few things which I've run into on enough dates that I feel are worth mentioning:
Repeatedly bringing up an ex on a first date. If you bring up your ex more than once on a first date, it can start to sound like you're not over him. By the third time he comes up on unrelated subjects over the same meal, alarms are going off in my head.
Commenting on the hotness of other guys present early on. If you're a month or two into dating, fine, we all look, there's nothing wrong with it. If it's the first or second time I'm out with a guy, though, I really don't want to know whether he thinks the waiter is hotter than the guy sitting two tables over or not, unless (maybe) that waiter looks an awful lot like me. Even then, it's risky.
Having nothing at all to be enthusiastic about. Yeah, I know, most first dates are awkward, and something along the line of a really weird interview. And the standard small talk about friends, family, and leisure activities can get a little bit tiresome. Still, excessively negative people can be a real downer. There was one guy I went out with where the only thing over the course of the entire evening he seemed enthusiastic about was...the fact that the rolls came with butter. He hated his job, he hated the city we were in, he didn't get along with his family, most of his friends had moved out of the area after graduation but he stayed put, he lost touch with most of his other friends who had stayed put, he was upset that it had been raining so he couldn't go camping, he hadn't read any books or seen any movies or been to any concerts he had enjoyed in months...it just got to be a real drag trying to find something, anything, he seemed to want to talk about. There's only so much I have to say about butter.