Wow, I thought I might get a few views and/or comments on this issue, but over 700 people have viewed the page in the last 24 hours and comments have been flying in! Thanks to everyone.
Due to good questions (and some touchy people who didn't comment here) I changed the title of the whole thing to When Live Sound Sucks, to acknowledge (of course), that there is good sound out there, it's just all too rare.
Thanks to everyone for their thoughts! When I get caught up in a day or two I'll post my next entry, which I think will be some of the reasons why good sound goes bad.