It was pretty interesting. I'm still sort of thinking about whether or not I have anything worth adding to it. In a way it's sort of pointless to discuss the issues raised with someone who only watched Season 1. A large part of the pleasure of the show is the way it continually evolves in an intelligent, challenging direction, setting its intellectual and aesthetic sights higher and higher with each subsequent season, rather than dumbing things down as its popularity grows (the usual course) and taking easy outs. In a way I do understand what irks Noah -- as I've said before, I think the show is really adept at having its cake and eating it too -- it just doesn't irk me as it does him. And I find it weird that anyone would hold up Pulp Fiction as a superior moral critique.
I enjoyed your comparison of BB, PF, and DH -- listed in descending order of how much we see of their respective protagonists in their underpants. The idea of Walt as a "bad ass" is comic to me, but more importantly, comic to the show itself. He does have his money moments, and they are a lot of fun to watch. But 95% of the show's time is spent dismantling the audience's ability to share Walt's distorted self-perception. Even in penultimate Season 4, its tagline -- "Walt is the danger" -- ends up being just as much a punchline, as the season is mostly a process of watching Walt make a bumbling fool of himself, stubbornly pretending to be in charge of his own destiny, while only really managing to lose the respect and trust of his loyal junior partner. The audience is not only privy to, but captive to, how pitifully outmatched he is, and thereby, how delusional he's become. Still, in fairness to Noah, much of the show's thrill does come -- all said and done -- from watching Walt "win," despite the odds, for the pure, visceral thrill of it. But the show doesn't give us those thrills easily -- it carefully weaves its many moral quandaries directly into them. For instance by the end of Season 4, there are moments where you are left wondering why you are rooting for Walt at all, and not Gus, or even Hank (although I think we do inherently root for Hank in a way, another interesting nuance of the show). Anyway, I don't fault the show for making Walt's victories entertaining when they happen, myself.
Of course, I still say even Season 1 is better than Lost or The Wire. It's a matter of taste, I guess: those shows, to me, are more pedantic, dry, obvious -- they feel very much like written-by-committee TV shows, albeit certainly above-average ones; BB to me is so much more intimate, psychological, and character-driven. It's more filmic, visual, and tonally unified; more spaghetti western-ish. Certainly funnier. And Walter White and Gus -- even Jesse maybe, at this point -- are far more interesting and surprising to me than any characters I remember from those other shows.
I need to check out Deadwood sometime, I keep hearing good things.