Is unamplified music the gold standard?

This boomer's gold standard is live, acoustic music - classical mainly, including orchestral, vocal and instrumental + some acoustic pop and jazz. I was a choral singer for many years, former church organist, played briefly in a band, and I'm married to an orchestral bassoonist. We've both got a pretty good idea what acoustic instruments and voices sound like in real space.

We play some rock too - but that's not our gold standard.
Yes , but you are a small minority . Most have no idea whatsoever what live music sounds like .
i  hate to sound obvious or trivial, but unamplified music is the gold standard for unamplified music. Most non-classical music is made to be amplified.I love small jazz music (piano/bass/drums) and even in live sessions it is amplified and mixed to match the taste of the person at the board.Clearly rock music is "meant to be" amplified and mixed no matter what, live or recorded.Classical music is frequently unamplified. Even Broadway with a full orchestra is amplified and mixed.To me, it is just about finding a sound that I like.
One of the truest of the old sayings is " The good is the enemy of the best" .
It really sinks in as you get old and it ain't pretty .