Just as a point of reference, AnimEigo has been around for the past 30 years, and while they are a small, referring to them as "the small company" is somewhat of a disservice to their history as pioneers in the industry, or at the very least, fails to understand their role. I would say that, if anything, they're kind of like the Criterion of anime, if that makes sense.
Comparing AnimEigo's Gunsmith Cats Kickstarter to a potential re-license of NGE is like comparing Apples to Oranges. AnimEigo already had the license to Gunsmith Cats, they've had it for quite some time. Gunsmith Cats is only 3 episodes, Evangelion is a 26 episode TV series, with two movies. Gunsmith Cats is probably a dirt cheap license, probably a five-figure license compared to NGE which would be in the low 7 figures. A license for NGE is probably somewhere around 3 million, which is crazy expensive compared to some figures I've seen in the past:
http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/vi ... sing-Costs
I believe I heard 400,000 was Evangelion's original license fee, via Carl Horn. Considering that didn't include the movies, and Eva is worth much more now, I wouldn't be surprised if the whole of NGE would be in the millions. After all, it has grossed billions of dollars. I believe I heard to passed the 2 billion mark in the mid-2000s, before Rebuild even started up.
If Sentai Filmworks (which is basically ADV Films) still had the rights to NGE, you could bet your ass that a Kickstarter (effectively a pre-order) would have happened a loooong time ago.
Also, as far as these responses go, they're pretty standard depending on how companies go as far as fan-input. FUNimation is simply acknowledging that requests from fans play very little role in title acquisition, while Sentai might occasionally look at a spreadsheet of data to see what people are interested in. But it makes sense, FUNimation and Sentai Filmworks are a bit different in the sorts of titles they release. I believe FUNimation is a bit more current, in which case, they have a good pulse for titles from current buzz, and don't need to poll people, whereas Sentai may put out some older or obscure stuff, and may need to prove the market for those titles.