I have nothing against John K, he seems like a nice guy whom I'd like to have a beer with. He's also a competent musician and vocalist, and you can tell he knows he's under a microscope. He's not resting on any laurels that's for sure.
Since Jerry is no longer with us, what is the alternative, just retire the ol' song book and listen to tapes?
I found your analysis of '91 to '12 interesting, and you certainly get props for the effort.
91 marked 10 years of being on the bus. Think I saw a half dozen shows culminating with the Bill Graham memorial in GG park. That show was memorable for a lot of things, but the Dead's performance was not one of them imho. To think I'd always dreamed of seeing them there, and it just goes to show the venue is no guarantee of a great show. This gig was broadcast on local radio, so the Dead played a radio friendly set list, but I digress.
As far as '91 vs. '12 or '11 or '10 I will say this: I have had more enjoyment seeing Furthur on a few occasions then just about any show I saw in '91. My first Furthur show in 2010 is a good case in point. There are probably 50 Dead shows I saw that were better than any Furthur show, and a few Furthur shows that were better than some Dead shows. Watching Jerry on one of his off nights was a serious bummer, as we all know. I think John and the rest of the group are doing their best to not have any off nights.