@Allison, surely it is implied that preference happens for a reason? One could also use the term ‘unsatisfying’, ‘lame’, ‘bland’, ‘superficial’, ‘unbalanced’, to indicate why one orchestra would be preferred to another, or one recording of the same piece to another.
The MO press machine has taken favorable comments from very good performances and attempted to use them as blanket statements to cover all performances. That is imo the equivalent of trying to put lipstick on a pig. The MO can be great, it can also be awful. I am still trying to find its voice.
Anyone who chooses to endure the angst needed to listen with their ears instead of their heads can determine for themselves which works and which performances of those works are of value and which are not.