True. While only an anecdote, I have Pink Floyd's "The Wall" in 128 Kbps MP3, taken from a spotless first-issue LP and encoded by good ol' l3enc.exe; it sounds better than many newer albums encoded in a higher bitrate or FLAC. And while I could rip the CD reissue in FLAC I won't - there's a certain quality to that old rip. I think it's something with l3enc.
However, I won't say my 320 Kbps encode of the "Let it Bleed" CD sounds better than the FLAC rip of the SACD remaster I bought -- or any album recorded, mastered and released in pure digital 24/96 or higher.
Not that I care about noise either, as evidenced by the fact that I love listening to some early Phish shows recorded on bad quality MCs. The music, performance and basic mix is good so I ignore the hiss and flutter.