Yes, these cars were a quantum leap forward in many respects. And they are still fun to drive. I have three 3rd gens, and there is such an unfiltered purity in driving something without any of the electronic management new cars have.Still a timeless design after nearly 30 years.
Yes, they were flawed, especially the first few model years (Iron Duke, anyone?) but no car had made such a quantum leap from one generation to the next (exception being C3 to C4 vette) either before or since.
These cars were a hoot to drive, and even today, still offer an outstanding example of pure handling without electronic nannies.