Same here. I got a copy of the Nosferatu soundtrack on CD and a cassette copy from an album that was 20 years old sounded better. I just take my chances in the used bins, but it's not like I'm finding much Popol Vuh at the Goodwill in Tallahassee/Thomasville.
I'm like you Brian, don't want to take a chance on something that's so good sounding so bad. When I first started buying cds, I had a bit of cash and ordered all the Van der Graff Generator albums. Good to have on cd, but nothing to recommend.