Even high end android sucks? I wouldn't say sucks, but could be better. As soon as I got my LG Optimus G I began flashing aftermarket ROMs, though the stock UI wasn't that unbelievably horrible. Of course that is not to mention LG's absolutely embarrassing track record of not supporting their own phones (even flagships) and not providing timely updates (Optimus G - is 4.4 even available yet? G2x - never even got 4.0, despite perfectly capable hardware. L9 - no updates, bootloader can't be unlocked.), but their hardware is generally very nice.
For me, trying aftermarket/third party firmware is easy and even a bit fun. If you hate bloatware enough, you'll figure out how to do it; if you don't care so much, you probably don't hate the stock versions as much. I will never again buy an Android phone until I know it can be rooted and unlocked - got bit with that once. If you don't think you can live with the carrier's crap on top of the manufacturer's crap, the most important step is simple: don't by a bottom-of-the-barrel phone, or it will likely have little to no aftermarket or community support. I'm currently using Cyanogen 11 nightlies on both my Optimus G and Nexus 7, and mostly loving it. Xda-developers.com is fairly comprehensive and can help any technically-minded person free their phone. Oddly enough, everyone I know with a Samsung S3/4/5 is happy with it as is.