Yeah, it may be all about what GnR you like. The UYI albums are where I hopped on board; I'd dismissed Appetite as just more of the Cinderella/Poison hair metal crap that I hated. Of course I went back and now love it, but I always liked the UYI sound.
That's the magic of GnR, I think--that tension between Axl's proggy punky rock and Slash's classic rock and blues. They were two great tastes that went great together. As Axl exerted more and more influence and creative control, the other members' contributions became more and more marginalized and you got UYI. Chinese Democracy, obviously, is all Axl, so the Slash/Izzy element of the old band is gone. Which is unfortunate, but the Axl stuff is still okay if you're into it. And I am. Like I said, I'm not blown away by its brilliance or anything, but I like it. If I had to guess, I'd say I'll listen to Chinese Democracy more than I will either of the Velvet Revolver (The Revolvers? Is that what we're calling them?) albums (even though I like those too).