Definitely agree with this. I think you and I have similar feelings about Lance in HGSS, but I'll go as far as to say the first Lance fight in HGSS is the hardest NPC fight I've ever had in a main series Pokémon game. I planned a pretty good team of mostly Johto Pokémon in HeartGold to take down Lance and Red, comprised of: Typhlosion, Gyarados, Heracross, Ampharos, Crobat and Steelix. They were level 40 by the time I reached Lance.All of the E4 are rough because their coverage is insane. Galactic is also a threat early on with Purugly and Skunktank, and Cyrus 3 is incredibly hard. In general, the game is one of the hardest games, but for the right reasons (unlike HGSS).
Everything was going according to plan (i.e. Ampharos KOs his Gyarados with Discharge, my Gyarados gets hit by Outrage and retaliates with Avalanche for the KO on his level 50 Dragonite, etc.). I planned it pretty well. But it came down to my Heracross against his Blizzard Dragonite. At which point I'm relying on him to: 1) use Dragon Rush; 2) not miss; 3) not flinch; 4) not crit; and 5) not get a high damage roll. If these five conditions are met, I hit back with Counter for the KO and essentially win the fight. It took several iterations of this fight to meet those conditions.
In the end I didn't feel triumph, I felt relief that this horribly designed fight was finally over. If I'm relying on that much luck to beat a boss, despite planning, there's something seriously wrong. First fight against Lance in HGSS definitely gets my vote for the topic of this thread, for all the wrong reasons.