as someone who got into the "scene" in the late 90's, early '00s I grew up listening to Green Day, Blink-182, and Jimmy Eat World as my gateway bands. JEW is obviously the best, borderline genius during thier clarity/bleed american/future days. as for Blink and Green day...Blink was very spot on on thier self titled, Green day was good on Nimrod, Warning, and AI...21stCB they kind of lost it and from what I've heard it seems to continue to decline...that being said I wasn't impressed by neighborhoods. Green day touched on different subjects so you could say they're maybe better overall, but I think we can all agree that both both Blink and Green day are ruining it with songs like Kill the Dj or snake charmer. my 2 cents
I got into this music the same time as you. Green Day's songwriting was always the most superior I found, and that thought has only been further solidified as I have learned more about music. Lyrically, none of the bands were exceptional but Green Day tracks such as Macy's Day Parade stood out for me more. Blink (until the s/t) and Sum 41 represented the bouncy, pop-punk side best whilst Green Day seemed more mature. JEW really only got lumped in because of Bleed American, the rest of their albums (save for Chase This Light) were not pop-punk at all.
The 2002 (I think) tour with all three of them, Green Day blew the other bands away live from everything I've seen and heard.
I don't like Kill the DJ much, but I'm sure there will be a handful of good tracks on their new records.