Which, I suppose, is true. However, my response to that is, basically, a live recording is how the songs really sound. In the best cases and examples, it's the band, as it exists on stage, playing full-out and without any chance to go back and fix anything. Even if there's a bunch of hired-hand backup musicians, it's still what the "band" can generate right in front of you. I find that vastly more enthralling.
Alive! and Alive! II being two rumored examples of "live" albums that took almost more studio work than the original studio albums. Ace Frehley all but admits this outright in his autobiography.
You can contrast that with Metallica's LIVE SHIT: Binge and Purge box set, which was actually 3 full shows, two on video, one on audio. I'm always impressed when on one of the video shows, Kirk Hammet's guitar solo goes pretty blatantly out of key. Impressed because they left it there, because that's how the show went down. It would've been so easy to fix it, especially at that moment, right after the Black Album release, when they were as popular as they would ever be. I admire that.
Tommy (admittedly an older master) is embarrassing in how poor the sound quality is. I don't think anybody ever really captured the best of The Who, as musicians, in a studio.
How the west Was Won is OK, but The Song Remains the Same is a nightmare. Neither of them even brushes at the greatness of the studio albums.
Now, in these last two cases, I'll admit, I never actually saw them live, but I'm talking about live albums and recordings. I'm sure, if I was in an arena with Led Zeppelin, I'd be much more open to the musical digressions. Alas, I never had that chance, and I do regret it. Same with The Who prior to Keith Moon's death.
Live in London. Whereas Rush wields much technology to hit the nuances of their material, King's X is three guys, and...well, that's pretty much it. It's a master course in forming your sound around what you can do with what you have. Bassist Dug Pinnick often wields a 12-string bass, and his tone, in general, fill in a lot of sonic room. One of my absolute favorite live acts, and, when you see them, it's almost always up close and personal.
Of course, for me, Springsteen is the quintessential "you HAVE to see him live" artist. I, personally, have over forty-eight hours of Springsteen music on my Zune. Most of that is live recordings, and most of those are bootlegs. I'm happy to say I own recordings of every Springsteen concert I've seen.
However, I can tell you that every, single show I've seen has unique moments. Unlike, say, Rush, where every show of a tour is, essentially, the same, The Boss' show are constantly in motion and evolving. The set lists, while adhering to a structure, are always changing. I don't know how many other acts I could see two nights in a row, and feel it's worth it. I tried two Rush shows 3 days apart, and I have to admit, I got a little bored the second night. I mean no disrespect to the boys in that, but to point out (and I'd bet they'd agree) they craft a great show that they can repeat for every audience. So, it's not "organic," but it is awesome.
There are relatively few Springsteen live albums, I can recommend Live: '75-'85, Live in New York City, and Live in Dublin. For a neophyte, I'd recommend the New York City disk. It's from the E-Street Band reunion tour, and the show is on fire. The first is a box set, and is rather sprawling, and the Dublin show is from the Seeger Sessions Band era (which is AWESOME, but not "classic" Bruce).
Ultimately, I do love live albums. They may not be as "perfect" as the studio recordings, but I think they more than make up for it in energy and direct performance. There's something magical about a really good live album.