I know I was lucky with my GE7, went MIJ and got a good one. I heard they can be noisy, It does best in a loop system IMO. You also don't want to boost too much with it, cutting is preferred over boosting to keep it tamed.
I totally agree that boutique builders have some killer pedals these days! That is for sure, but also Jerry had a lot at his disposal too through out his career. Boss was not the only deal around during his days. EHX, MXR, dunlop, Way huge, Digitech, Ibanez, Moog etc... He did use Musictronics stuff. There were tube OD pedals in the late 70's and early 80's like EHX and BK Butlers stuff in the early/mid 80's. Come on guys!
He lived during the era that had all the USA hand made pedals we all clone and covet, I think its silly that Boss was the only pedal he could find at the time. I also think my Boss pedals sound best in a LOUD rig versus my deluxe at bedroom level, although the SD1 and OD1 sounds great at low volumes too.
I know I distinguish between the two volumes a lot, but it seems to throw off my idea of what sounds good when I try things at a low volume and then at band volume. I've been mislead by pedals that sound great at low volumes and miss the mark at loud volumes. I really think Jerry liked Boss pedals despite all there was to use in the market. Shit he used hand made buffers and blasters, etc... I am sure he was around folks that had boutique stuff or modded pedals! But, I don't know for sure...
I am all for fixing cheap workmanship and swapping out components for better quality stuff, that's why I prefer the MIJ stuff.