Clearly the aim is to sound identical to the source in every situation... and few if any can do that yet. There's still room for improvement, superbly accurate though modern monitors can be!
I have to say, a lot of the modern ones I hear....
I've no idea what you've heard or where you've heard them, so I can't really comment. I get to listening over extended periods to a lot of monitors in surroundings that I know well. All I can say is what I said previously; the best monitors now are streaks ahead of where they were when I started in this business. The improvements in so many areas are substantial.
As for the mainstream offerings, budget, mid price range, there’s always way too much of everything, especially bass, to call them anything approaching "neutral" is a joke.
The clue is in that term, 'budget'... I object to manufacturers calling their budget speakers 'monitors' because they just aren't in the sense that I understand the term. I wouldn't consider any speaker I've heard as being of true monitor quality speaker below a couple of grand, minimum, and you need to be well over 5k before you're approaching the peak of what can be achieved today. That's not to say there aren't some good models at 1k or less, but being 'impressive for the money' isn't the same thing as being as good as it can be!
If I thought I could improve my sound, that much, I’d have done it by now, but I don’t think it’s worth it, from a technical point of view, and a creative one.
Sure... but deciding that you personally won't appreciate or benefit from a modern high-quality monitor speaker doesn't justify claiming that "speaker technology hasn’t improved as much as we’d like to think..."
I see your "with respect" Hugh, and I raise you "with the greatest respect"