+1 for Fuji Superia, it is more neutral and generic than the Kodak Portra and Ektar series, I use them as good overall films. What I have seen is that scan quality varies widely between labs, so your poor results may have come from that. Expect visible grain from ISO800 emulsions, and a bit less from ISO400.

I personally don't think that Kodak, Fuji or llford sell any crap film these days. I've had my own share of trouble with a few emulsions, but looking through online resources showed me that most likely my poor technique was to blame (wrong choice of subject matter, poor scanning&post processing, ...). Calling any of these films a "steaming pile of ..." tells me more about the photographer than about the emulsion IMHO.