I agree with you guys in that its a shame that "180gm" has become what it is.
When the vinyl resurgence hit there was no doubt that there would be many manufacturers who played the part and produced poor product under the guise of an audiophile collectable. Fortunately I only have two recent 180gm LPs that I would put into the "me too" arena of poor manufacturers.
For the sake of being warned those LPs were Journey's Greatest Hits redone by Legacy and Traffic's Low Spark of High Heeled Boys on Universals "Back To Black" series.
The Journey LP was pressed well enough but the mastering was no better than MP3 level sound and I suspect that was exactly what it was. The LP comes with a coupon with a code to download the album in MP3. I suspect that they produced a single source for both the download and the vinyl. The sound of most of the tracks on the LP is poor to say the least. The pressing quality is not bad its just the sound.
The Traffic LP was also fairly well pressed but again the sound quality was nothing to bother buying the LP for. I would say that the Traffic was the better of the two LPs in question here. The sound of the Traffic LP was not objectionable but it has nothing to make it noteworthy. You can get much better sound picking up a clean used copy and save yourself some money.
The rest of the vinyl that I have bought has been very good. Most of the titles that I buy have been from Classic Records (when they were in business), Analogue Productions (or any of the labels produced by Chad Kassem's Acoustic Sounds), Mobile Fidelity Sound Labs, the stuff being pressed by Chad Kassem's Quality Record Pressings, quite a few titles from Rhino and a long list of other manufacturers that I have had success buying from.
If you ask this consumer the "180gm" thing has been a success so far and I have found quite a few reissues that are better than the original pressings. Saying that all original pressings are best is as dumb as saying everything with 180gm on it is junk. Neither is true and life is not that simple.
Unfortunately we are obliged to buy the LPs to see if they are what we hope they will be. Sometimes what I have bought is outstanding sometimes its not very good.
Hmmm...it sounds just like it was back when all those "best originals" were the source for music. Not much has changed. Its another year, LP production is up, and there are manufacturers you can trust and there are manufacturers you cannot.