I'd guess your problem with the US SNES is mostly the look of the system? I got a Japanese Super Famicom when I went down that road. Solves the PAL/ NTSC problem, the console looks the same as the PAL equivalent and the games were usually far cheaper than their UK and US versions I found (Though that part might not still be true, it was a few years ago I was building a decent SNES collection)
Obviously, the language can be a problem but that depends on what you are wanting to play, Obviously disregard the idea if you are wanting to play RPGs but for Mario, Donkey Kong Country and the like it's fine.
Doesn't really answer your question on the quality of the ports, but could be something to consider!
I'm on my third. First was a red ring, the second stopped reading discs. Just bought a slim at that point, haven't had a problem since. Can only look back on the system with fondness despite the issues. So many damn good games.