When I said no such thing as a "bad" ruger MK, I meant the different generations and variations. Not that every single MK ever made was perfect. Every gunmaker, no matter how good their reputation, puts out at least a few lemons every now and then. Id be willing to bet if your buddy would just send the gun back to ruger like you said, they would make it right. If its as bad as you say, I wouldnt have wasted my time putting more than 500 rounds through it. After a hundred rounds or so each from a few different brands it should be obvious something needs to be fixed, cause that surely isnt the norm for that gun.
You are correct, of course, but I'd submit that while many or most folks that own Mark III pistols have had good experiences...
I think if you were able to put a lot of time and energy in to comprehensive research (which would be difficult, I'm sure) you might find that:
--of the folks that have owned Mark II and Mark III pistols, it's not a close race and the Mark III is clearly a step back
--of the folks that have had problems with either series, there's a lot more problems in the Mark III series. Minor issues, lemons, annoyances, all the little things that Mark II guns DON'T seem to have, all the little things that are absent from Mark II guns that have built their reputation.
It could simply be that since the Mark II has been unavailable since 2004, the bulk of the chatter in forums has been about the gun that available now--the Mark III. I'm not blind to that possibility.
Perhaps its a difficult theory to prove...but my theory is absolutely that on the whole, the Mark III guns are a solid step below the Mark II's.