The school I'm at right now has an odd population of students - student scores in most courses represent more of an inverted bell curve than anything else. Most of the professors leave shortly after they arrive, as they need to teach the courses at a speed equivalent to a high school class. This school does give at least B.A.'s in chemistry. My professor has already told me he expects me to never show up to lecture, as I'm so far ahead of the rest of the class, and that I should find another school asap, for any of the degrees I'm interested in (math, physics, chem).
The quality of a large %age of faculty at the school is fairly miserable as well (my parents work there, so I know the inner workings of the science dept. fairly well), w/ extreme laziness being tolerated (can you say virtual labs?) by the deans, and sorely underqualified PHd's being taken on as professors (many have a *hard* time teaching freshman-level courses, and have a gigantic turn-over rate).
The labs are atrocious. I'd like to say they're a joke, but they're not....
Anecdotal: My father was lab manager for a firm in the Detroit area (120 chemists working under him). After a few years of hiring, he refused to hire students from one of the local universities (a school that was perennially very high ranked, great reputation), as they didn't have enough experience or knowledge to fill the entry level positions. All of the lower ranked school's students blew them away regularly (Wayne State, Ohio State, Oakland University, most commonly).
So, I have a hard time believing that all schools are interchangeable. Perhaps on paper they are, but my experience says otherwise.
Maybe I need to narrow my question - do you (collectively) know any schools that put a strong emphasis on high quality, educational, representative-of-real-world-work laboratory periods, and student research?