I'll admit I haven't been around as long as some, but I've never seen a triple function perfectly smooth. Many will shift OK to all gears, but with at least some roughness/noise at the extremes (e.g. big ring with largest 1-2 gears, small ring with smallest 1-2 gears). Most wrenches, shop books (inc. Shimano tech docs), and almost all serious cyclists I know seem to think this is normal. For those who are convinced a triple is the way to go (e.g. my better half), does the Holy Grail of a "perfect" triple really exist?