I don't buy the JL subs are crap story, but I will secede to personal preferences. I've been in the car audio industry for quite some time as well, and I've heard expensive gear sounds like ass, and crappy gear sound alright. When it comes to subwoofers, there's a significant difference between brands and models. It all depends on what you're going for. For daily use and a variety of music, JL is really hard to beat. If you like rap or bass music, I would certainly steer away from JL.
It's one thing to hear lots of bass, but it's another to have bass make your heart skip beats and have it pound your every sense, make your eyes blur so much it sucks to keep them open, and make you feel like you're going to pass out. Most people have never heard the latter type (even though they say they have), but until you do, you don't have a clue. JL Audio has a 'listening' level of bass that's great for the daily driver. But it's tough to beat a treated, thick paper cone for depth of bass. Rockford Fosgate used to make some nice ones back in the day (early 90's).
Today everyone touts the ability to handle power. I really don't understand this, particularly when 80% of people don't even know the proper way to set an amp gain. IMO, it's nothing but marketing. Poly-propyl-whatever. "Space age materials." Whatever. The point of car audio is to enjoy the MUSIC, not have more power or better gear than someone else. It really does take a long time to really find out what you like best, and that's what makes the hobby fun: the experimentation. It took me forever to blend insane bass with extrodinary SQ; it took forever to create a system that would play the subtlest of details like it fell from the breath of an angel and play the most aggressive of beats with a force that would grab a butt cheek or two and not let go. THAT'S excitement, and that's what keeps me in the hobby.
I'm a purist at heart...I don't like sound processors. I believe if you can't get things right with equipment selection and install technique, you need to keep working and experimenting. But seriously, CartmanIsGod, don't you ever compare JL Audio to Bose. Did you spend your 25 years learning nothing?