Apple makes decent stuff that looks nice in the same way a Honda Accord looks nice - it isn't offensive, or special in any way. But if you care to do a little research you can do much better in most cases and get more for your money. I'm quite satisfied with my LG phone (no need for an ipod), ASUS tablet, and Toshiba laptop - they all do everything a competing Apple product can do, they all do things MY way, they are durable, and I saved enough cash to take a vacation.
Which is not the phone being talked about and the G2 is not a low-end phone.
Which is why he likes it and why he doesn't need to go onto an online forum and whine like a baby about it.
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.