I almost never buy pears at the supermarket because my experience with them has been almost universally bad. Dry, grainy and hard are my most common descriptors.
That said, I tried a "Taylor's Gold" from a nearby Kroger market recently and it was excellent. Not quite Comice quality, but nicely ripe, fine grained and juice running down your chin good. It was Comice shaped, slightly smaller that the Comice pears I'm accustomed to, and with an entirely russeted skin. I'll buy more.
A perfect pear can be so delicious. When we went to the Loire Valley in France 20 years ago I was impressed that I never tasted a pear there that wasn't juicy and honey sweet, even the ones on the tree in the back yard of our "gîte". Knowledgeable consumers can drive the market to improve...
What I have been enjoying for a month or so is the red Anjou pears, almost the color of an apple. It's hard to judge when they are perfectly ripe -- looks are no use -- but when they are ripe they are soft sweet juicy and delicious.
I will have to keep an eye open for Comice and Taylor's Gold.
Are these pears that you folks are eating now in season in the US?
I start seeing new apples and pears here in the Northeast in my farmer's market towards the middle/end of summer. But for my tastes, there is no way I'm even thinking about pears or apples until the rest of the 'real' summer fruit has died out. And we just got our first strawberries this week, so I'm just getting started!
Oh, and more in line with the original topic, I agree that great pears are great. But the downside is so huge and there is so little margin for error (i.e. even the slightest bit of sub-par grainy texture will ruin the whole fruit for me) that I rarely buy them anymore.