I had a Pate and Bacon at K's Sandwiches here in San Diego the other day, and it was terriffic. Light crunch to the baguette, melting soft pate, and a thin slice of gelatinous cold cut. No bacon that I could recognize, but maybe pork belly, I don't know. I'll have to try it again and take it apart. Funny, the girl who took my order asked me if I was sure that's what I wanted, as if she was thinking 'this old American guy is in for a big surprise'. Even though I didn't know what I was getting, I told her I did, and I'm glad she let me order it. Mmmm.
John Thorne (in 'Pot on the Fire') maintained that the bread/filling balance is crucial, that the bread is not just a wrapper. He gets pretty wound up on this point, so I'll spare you the emotion. (He's an entertaining writer.) The sandwich I had was certainly balanced, and the bread was great.
If the bread is so important, do the big operations like Lee's have an advantage over the little guys whose bread is invariably older?