Not trying to hi-jack the OP's thread, but I've heard a number of different brands and for the price, I believe 100% that Hertz can't be beat. You're a helluva lot more experienced in audio than I am, but I know that you've got to sort of "train" your ears to hear inconsistencies in sound. I was recently talking to a friend of mine about this about another member of his band, who doesn't seem to have the right "ear" yet.
I consider myself a pretty picky individual, and I know what I like (And everyone else knows what they like too). I've gotten plenty of compliments on my system, and have heard lots of higher end systems than mine with the same speakers/subs yet pushed by different head units and/or amps. they still outshine the competition IMO
Ohh, they can... Actually, Hertz, from my opinion, are OK. Better than like Alpine, but still not up to Focals. But that's my ear... Here's a better thread where I explained the differences better: http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f20/replacement-speakers-739128/
In the end, you can have the world's three best SQ vehicles setup exactly the same just using different brand drivers go to every SQ competition. One vehicle won't win them all. This judge will hear just a little different than that one who hears just a little different than... Get the picture? Pretty much, no two ears are alike. And for ever person that likes my Focals or your Hertz, I can show you ten people who hate them. It's all because it's just tooooooo personal an item. There will never be a 'this speaker is #1' unless they are refering to a bench test and not the human ear. Because actually what most of the highest end SQ people like, the general public people don't. They find it to bland or too empty because their hearing is half shot and they can't hear the high-frequencies as well or they have a hollow spot in their ear's response or something. 100001 reasons to have imperfect hearing (even mine's not perfect, though my ear doctor would tend to disagree with me).
So, the best way to go about it is not
to say 'Hertz (or Focals) are the best'. Instead, be accurate and say 'I really appreciate the sound of Hertz and/or Focals (or whatever brand) but you need to go listen to them yourself to see what you think. Or even just 'I really appreciate the sound of Hertz.' It might seem like a small difference but it's the difference between being ignored by most people because they think your trotting wares touting the #1 whatever, or being taken seriously. I like Hertz too, and Focals... But they are not for everyone. Honestly, they are not for most people.
Plus, they aren't simply in everyone's price range... Budget is more important then just sound or even I wouldn't ever use other brands than my absolute favorites.
Lastly, anyone who is picky about sound and buys a speaker without at least getting a listen to some of the manufacturer's offering first is about as senseless as someone who buys a used car without a test drive.