that was always my impression, Dan, when i lived in the states. The unsalted was always rancid-tasting. But then, back in the 70s, who bought it?
Unfortunately here it's also usually off, even if almost nobody buys the salted, because the salted is made by only a couple of companies, and imported, and they like to keep their image up - Lurpak and President, and both in fact, have unsalted butter that tastes fresh and sweet.
Prarie chef, you can salt your butter on top, but that's like saying you don;t have to salt food when you cook because you can always put salt on top. But you must admit it;s different.
I salt the butter when i'm a guest where there is no salted butter, or when i couldn;t buy it in the past. But it;s not the same thing.
And I do sometimes buy unsalted for cooking or baking, but it;s only because it;s cheaper. I find it very unpractical to have two kinds, though. I may go a long time before baking and then it goes bad. (and the cheap unsalted is more often bad tasting to begin with, to the extent that i don;t really like to use it even in cooking.