Yep... like I said it's not something you can ever get any sort of agreement on
Everyone hears something different, that much is plain. I was speaking merely from a linguistic perspective. There is no right or wrong way to study language, but everyone needs *some* frame of reference to start from. What I pointed out was what they teach you in linguistics textbooks, not what you say to each other on the street.
Saying there is a "more pure" American dialect or accent is like trying to quantify which color is prettier, red or blue. You can't. It's impossible. However they do have a place relative to each other, and if you look at accent diagrams across the US you would be amazed to see that it does indeed spread out like a color spectrum.