With regards to which actor is the "best" James Bond, or for that sake which movie is "better" than the others, there is no true answer. Everybody has their favorite for various reasons. Whether it's the actor that they grew up with who played James Bond, or the first movie that they saw in the canon series. I have read the books, and like all film adaptations of written work, I do not hold any direct associations between them. It is impossible to have a film match up with any written work in the same manner. The written media is completely different from the film media. No matter what, it is impossible to have a film adaptation be a perfect version of a written work. This is just due to the inherent differences between the two of them. (With written work, it generally relies on the readers emotions and interpretations of what is written to get the "point" across. With a film, you have to include the aural score, the sets, the actors, etc. to get the "point" across).
I have never been one to try and say that a certain Bond film is better than another one due to how close to the book the film is, nor have I ever thought that one actor was better than another one as James Bond due to how closely they represented the Bond presented in the novels. I go to watch a Bond movie because I want to see a Bond movie. If I really wanted to read a James Bond book, I would go to my bookshelf and pull one down and read it. Pretty much from the get go with Dr. No, the film version of James Bond has been represented differently than the book version which is perfectly acceptable to me. The novel versions of the James Bond books would, honestly, be nowhere near as enjoyable as the movies have been. Each of the six actors in the Bond films has really brought their own "qualities" to the films that were appropriate for the time. Of course Sean Connery is typically thought of as the "best" James Bond because he was the first. For the older members of the forum here, they were likely the first James Bond actor they saw, so they have judged all other actors based upon him. This can be either intentionally or unintentionally. It's a quirk of the human psyche.
For me, I had seen the occasional James Bond film while growing up, but I never really had a "personal" Bond until I started watching the movies my freshman year of college. (I was born in 1980 so for me, my "Bond" would have likely been Timothy Dalton as Roger Moore was basically done by the time I was old enough to really follow anything). I saw my first James Bond movie the first night of college in 1998 when the college I went to had their freshman orientation night and played "Tomorrow Never Dies" on a big screen in the college green for all the freshman. I have MANY great memories of that night which I can't describe here (
) so Pierce Brosnan is the actor that I can call "My James Bond." Goldeneye is one of my favorite movies due to the fact that it was the first Bond movie after the collapse of the Soviet Union, and because of the videogame for the N64 that me and my friends played religiously during my freshman year. That freshman year, a guy down the hall from my dorm room had all of the Bond movies in a VHS collection and I spent an entire weekend watching all of them. I loved each and every movie. Some were better than others (Diamonds Are Forever didn't sit well for me as Connery looked a bit too old for the role and Blofeld was far too different from his portrayal in the other movies, Moonraker was just way too cheesy for me to enjoy and the special effects were pretty danged bad, and View To A Kill was just painful to watch as Roger Moore looked more like a grandfather than James Bond), but each movie still appealed to me.
When DVD came out and was the new fad, I was psyched when all the movies came out on DVD. I just had a computer to watch the movies on (on a 21" Monitor), but I remember buying the first set, and then the second set when it came out. I didn't get into Blu-Ray movies until around 2008 when I got a PS3 and had the custom built speaker set-up and 42" HDTV in my house. (Still have the TV and speakers now, and the speakers mean so much to me as I built them from scratch with the help of my roommate and the sound is amazing from them). When I heard about this "Bond 50" set coming out, I pre-ordered it immediately. I am VERY happy with having all 22 films on Blu-Ray and in my possession. When my little nephew is old enough to watch these, I am going to enjoy watching them with him and getting him into the series. Are some of the movies of lesser quality than others? Yes. That's pretty obvious. But are all of the movies better than what I saw when I first watched them on VHS? Oh hell yeah.
I guess I'm in a position of "ignorance is bliss" in that I don't have a huge screen to watch these on and notice the flaws in the transfers. Unless I'm specifically looking for a flaw, I can't notice any. It's very nice being in that situation, but I can understand the displeasure from those who have massive screens and expensive home theater setups. It's akin to when I was introduced to first class travel on airplanes at my last job. I had only flown a few times in my life and was content with coach on domestic flights. At my previous job, I had to travel out to various places in Europe many times each year. When doing so, they set me up in first class for my international trips. Now that I know what first class travel is like, I will never be able to fly coach anywhere. The difference is just too great. Ignorance truly is bliss and is nothing to be chastised for.
One of the things that kind of bothers me about Blu-Ray reviews and forums such as these is that the displeasure with a lot of the films that are out there aren't really all that noticeable or bothersome on "normal" setups. By "normal", I mean the type of setup that the "common man" will have in their living room in their house or apartment. Not the 80"+ televisions or projector screens with $6,000 receivers and $10,000 plus speaker setups in massive home theater rooms that a great number of people have. I really only read and participate in these forums because I like to discuss film and hear people's opinions about them. It also allows me to see if a particular release is indeed horrific even at the scales that I view movies on.
I have to say that the transfers in these Bond movies look great to me. But again, that's because I have a limited setup to view these on. So I guess that is a plus for me.