Terribly sorry. I glanced back at my emails and I just realized that wasn't you who I thought was talking about that...my mistake.
Why? Aren't you being a little hard on yourself? Those guys that produced that stuff had years and years and years of practice producing, mixing and engineering before they made those records. And they were trained and mentored by some of the best talent in the world. On top of that, they had state of the art gear, and the investors that fronted the bill for those recordings had very deep pockets.
Don't kid yourself into thinking because you have plugins and a DAW you can replicate that quality. There's sooooo much more going on there.
Look...Aj can come across as an asshole and so can I at times. But I've never known him to be condescending for the sake of doing so, and he rarely if ever ad-hominims (that's attacking the person instead of the subject matter) when he disagrees with people.
Here's my trick for dealing with AJ (and I'm well aware he can read this): Pause, take a breath, then remind yourself that his comment is not directed at you personally. Then remind yourself that he's as equally entitled to an opinion as everyone else, and that this IS an forum which means if you post it, everyone can comment on it.
...I find his comments to be a valuable contribution to dialogue here, regardless of weather I disagree with half them or not. I'm much happier to see someone present a view I disagree with, than see this place die of boredom and apathy.