I have a slight feeling that some of the boutique-ish hum buckers sometimes get into a sonic territory that just doesn't feel "gibson PAF" to me. I personally don't like when they start getting to the underwound, microphonic side of things. Though this may be technically more accurate to the actual PAF period... I don't know.
NOT TO SAY that I don't like these qualities in some pickups. Just not what I am personally looking for out of a humbucker Gibson guitar.
Part of the issue here, I think, is that there is SUCH a wide range of what an "original PAF" sounds like. They were ALL over the map both in sound and construction and nearly every measurable parameter. Some of them sound amazing, some of them (IMO) not as good. And there are many different kinds of "good" and "not good," and the "best" is subjective. They're a little bit like Istanbul K Zildians in this regard.
Of the original PAFs, some had AlNiCo 2 magnets; some had AlNiCo 5. The coils were wound by hand on Leesona winders "until the bobbins are full", at the discretion of the ladies (usually) running the machines. Some of the winders (the Leesona 101) had a non-lobed cam. Others (the Leesona 102) had a lobed cam and therefore distributed wire more evenly (theoretically). Both (and others) were used to wind PAFs. As mentioned, the AlNiCo bars were charged in bulk in a pile, and there can be differences both in gauss strength and orientation. Other things changed over time, too, and now they're all 60 years old, to boot.
So each winder probably has their own frame of reference for what constitutes a "good PAF sound," and that perception will be better-informed in some than others. Then I'm sure there are many who know the construction techniques of the originals (roughly), but haven't spent significant time with an original, so they just stop when they reach whatever seems good to them.
Blasphemy I'm about to commit-- I think like with so much gear-related stuff (especially in the guitar world), the PAF mythos is SO over-wrought. About 50% of the originals were really good pickups, about 10% were or are stunning, perhaps. They were used on lots of famous records, though, and in lots of famous guitars, so there is PROFOUND expectation bias that a PAF is going to sound amazing. And, again, sometimes they do.
But man, it's just not worth all of the fussing and fretting, to me--especially not once the pickup is removed from the guitar and we're talking about that ONE part, as opposed to the sum of all of the parts. There are so many great pickups out there; I've gotten to the point where I'd rather just pick one and get on with it.