Art, I think that you have some excellent points, and on the basis of purity of reproduction, really the whole tier system should/could be done that way...how close to the master.
However, many people to want a quick check of "how good does this look" or a more generic check. Not to mention the lack of masters to compare to.
I wonder if he could leave the current basic tiers alone, more a judgment of the general consensus to overall eye pleasing (yeah this will favor the clean stuff). But then instead of leaving it there, when a title is clearly meeting the directors intent, doing a great job on the compression, etc, the feedback will assign a "*" or other designator.
For instance, 300, with it's purposeful grain comes out...perfectly captured with no actual compression artifacts, the (uneducated?
) masses determine it to be a bottom tier 1 or maybe even tier 2...then, feedback from multiple users as yourself, can lead to an asterisk or designator that points out while not at the top for "J6P instant visual gratification" it is a stellar and accurate capture of the director's intent.
This is just a suggestion, mostly because the tier type system, esp with polls and feedback will default to the situation where a perfect transfer could end up in the middle of the pack. It will just happen, and maybe the best way is to have a special marker for something clearly pushed down even while matching the master (if we could ever see it).