How's that for a provocative subject title?
As we all know a rub really just flavors the outside of a piece of meat, so it would make sense to me that the flavors should be fairly intense. So intense, perhaps, that it might not taste very good alone.
The first time I cooked brisket I made a rub based on some directions I found online. (From a famous BBQ place in the south.) It was something like 2 parts salt, 2 parts pepper, and 1 part cayenne. It tasted pretty awful alone but was okay on the meat.
My biggest complaint about the larger meat dishes I've cooked is that they seemed to lack a little flavor. So do I need to make more flavorful rubs? Use more smoke?
(I bought some Famous Dave's Rib Rub and found it pretty tasty alone. But it seemed like it would be too mild on a big pork butt.)