when I brew a style I usually go buy a couple bottles of the same style to drink while brewing and compare to mine later. I pour a commercial and a Homebrew and then ask some seasoned friends to compare and pick which glass they like best. A simple blind taste test. You get pretty straight forward answers. I've had enough of my HB picked that I feel that my results are comparable to commercial brews and I'm still improving.
I have an beer store close by that carries over 500 worldwide beers of all styles which makes it really easy to be able to compare commercials to my HB.
I think that as beer enthusiasts we are our own biggest critics. My friends don't hold their beer in their mouths feeling/tasting/smelling it for microflaws like I do.
Primary- Sweet traditional Orange blossom mead
Secondary- Coconut Porter
-Amarillo pale ale
Kegged n' bottled-
-Dry traditional mead
-Chocolate Robust Porter
-Willamette apricot Blonde
- Red raspberry melomel
- AG Octoberfest
Those folks that say they don't like beer... My simple response to them is that they haven't yet found the right beer. My fellow homebrewing buddies make beer, and decent beer at that, but I'm not convinced they understand why. What I have learned from brewing is why I like what I like, and subsequently what other people may like according to what they typically drink, BMC or whatever else.