In my view we spend too much time pixle peeping and reading graphs and statistics. One of my ohter passions in life is music and high end audio systems. Compared to that domain, photography is like mathematics
If you ever want to kill an audiophile discussion or argument about "quality of sound" then all you need to do is ask someone (particularly vendors) for proper blind testing where the person executing the test (playing the music or producing the sound) has no interaction with the person doing the testing (i.e listening and evaluating what they hear.) That or to measure the results with proper testing equipment rather than human ears.
One thing that I have noticed is that speakers and amplifiers and what not always seem to be producing warmer and more open sound to the point that I'm wondering why they haven't caught on fire yet. Camera manufacturers (like Canon) seem to always claim that image quality is better, more DR, sharper images, etc, and I'm starting to wonder whether or not we're in danger of cutting ourselves with them.
He he, you don´t kill an audiophile discussion by suggesting blind testing, you rather throw fuel on the fire. To manipulate a blind test is the easiest thing to do and to judge a system requires time, which is very difficult with blind testing.
An important element here is the subjectivity of the evaluation and people´s obsession with disagreeing. Some like it loud, some like it soft, some like it hard, some like it analytical, some like it warm, some like classical/acoustic, some like metal, some like surround, some like stereo, some like digital, some like analogue ... the list is endless. Some setups work for orchestra, some for chamber, some for heavy metal, some for voice. But very few works well across them all.
And in photography, we have some of the same issues. Portrait vs. architecture vs. sports vs. landscape vs. wildlife, light, color, contrast, bokeh, AF speed vs. accuracy, size, weight, ruggedness ... the list can be veeerry long. One lens being the ultimate for one thing may well be crap for another. But isn´t that part of what makes this fun?