It would be great if writers had the power in deciding the agent/writer relationship. Some writers do. Most don’t. Agents will tell writers, “It only takes one yes.” But if that one yes is all a writer gets, options are limited. While Jessica is, commendably, afraid of doing a disservice to a writer she’s not 100% behind, which is worse to the writer’s mind: a disservice or no service at all? If options are running low, I’ll take the disservice any day.
And I agree with you . . . to a point. I suspect it is very rare that an author gets the benefit of having multiple agents vie for her attention, or more important, her contract. I think that most of the time the author gets one agent interested and that’s the one and only person who offers representation. That being said, it does not mean that a bad agent is better than no agent. An agent who does you a disservice could damage your career. Having no agent just means it’s going to take you longer to find someone willing and able to work with you successfully.
I think that many readers can easily share (anonymously of course) stories of when they thought exactly as you do (and I hope they do). Grabbing that agent was the most important thing, no matter who the agent was. In the end, though, I think many can tell you they would have been better served to wait a little longer for someone who could actually do the job right.