I can't believe I got lost in this thread. If there is any chance the OP is still out there...
I read this entire thread, and, like many other threads like this there is a lot of misinformation, but I'll give this my 2 cents (I feel like I have to after investing all that reading time).
Is Bose the "Boss"? Nope. But some things to consider about the claims:
1.) Does Bose have good marketing? Yup. Does it help their sales? Yup. However, the claim that they suck because they have to pay for marketing is a classic misstep in accounting... If your marketing does its job in increasing your sales, then the amount of profit you make goes up proportionally. If you increase profit via marketing by X when spending Y on marketing, and X>Y, the marketing pays for itself. This is why most companies that can afford to market agressively, do. In summary, don't be swayed by the marketing, but don't think marketing in and of itself makes for a worse product, that's silly.
2.) Does Bose have "cheap" construction materials (plywood, plastic, paper)? Yup. Are they good looking products and reliable? Yup. Do all other major audio brands use the same materials? Yup. I don't know what to say about this one except judge the product for yourself. A special note on the "paper cone" claim... If anyone is so inclinded, please go get a materials science handbook and tell me what material has better stiffness/weight^3 and damping characteristics than paper. Here's a hint: it's not Kevlar, its not glass fiber, and its not aluminum. I don't know why people argue over this, its one of the simplest things in audio.
3.) Does Bose sound the "Best"? Oh hell no. If you use your ears, you can tell that easily. Bose sounds pretty good, all of the time, and that's the rub; other audio brands sound anywhere from pretty good to amazing (for much less $). Why don't they all sound good all the time? Because, as many people pointed out, you have to know what your doing with audio to get them setup right (I don't recommend non-integrated Bose products as it bypasses what they do best). Get a subwoofer from company A and speakers from B and receiver from C? Not rocket science to setup, but not childs play either. Level, tone, positioning are the basic ones, but to get great sound you'll want EQ (if only for the room) and that's not simple. God forbid you want to do it right and ensure you have the appropriate sound measurement equipment to verify your setup... That brings me to my final point:
3a.) Bose touts "stereo everywhere". They intentionally make their speakers have weaker soundstages to sound good everywhere. My personal preference are big 'ol badass tower speakers with one sweet spot. Move outside that and you're toast; this is an unfortunate fact of acoustics, you can have one but not the other. Serious listeners almost always prefer the same, and hate Bose for that reason (amongst others). However, I can't help but noticing even the serious listeners calling for upgrades to a "man cave" or the like... Ever been over a man cave an gotten the demo that starts with "move here, no here... yea right there", hardly practical.
P.S. If anyone's wondering what "gear" I have, I built my own, though I do have a couple old Sony & Yamaha amps and run some digital EQ (MiniDSP's stuff). Ironically, it never sounds the same 'cause I'm always messing with it!