First off, I want to be clear that I am not attacking YOU, AvatarDK! I think you are a great guy and I mean no offence by my following statements.
Not all classic American Westerns are black and white. That is really an uninformed statement, amigo! And your statement: "I wouldn't be caught near one today" has a twinge of cinematic prejudice to it!
What you describe in your post as "classic American Westerns" sounds like
the old B-movies of stars like Roy Rogers, Gene Autry, and the like. Films that were made in the late 1930's and throughout the 1940's. Those, to me, are NOT classic American Westerns.
Classic American Westerns, for me start much later than that (1950's into the early 1960's).
I recommend you watch the films of Budd Boetticher featuring Randolph Scott, or VERA CRUZ with Cooper and Lancaster, or WARLOCK with Henry Fonda (one of Leone's favorite movies, apparently) or any of the films that Phil H. mentioned. And how about the Westerns of Sam Peckinpah? Or John Sturges' THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN? These are all classic American Westerns; but, they don't fit the white hat vs. black hat tag you put on them.
BUT, of course...you are entitled to your opinion, companero and I respect it.
And I perfectly understand if you prefer Spaghettis over Hamburger Westerns.
And since we are talking about opinions....I just want to throw out one of my own.
Apart from RIO BRAVO (and maybe a couple of others)...I really HATE John Wayne!!
It really bugs me when people equate American Westerns with the films of John Wayne. Just as it bugs me that a lot of people equate Spaghetti Westerns with the films of Clint Eastwood.
There's more to them than that!