I agree with you about the Olympics in the present day because it has become more liable to corruption and score inflation / manipulation than Worlds or the Grand Prix Final, especially at Sochi. I have my own views on the scoring at Vancouver, but the placements there were accurate.
Worlds is also a better gauge of the perennial dominance of a skater because it is held every year. The Grand Prix Final also has a world series quality to it so that a skater must perform well at more than just one event, thereby emphasizing consistency. But, the Olympics is only one event held every 4 years. With the major exception of Yuna Kim, the last three winners, especially Sarah Hughes and Adelina Sotnikova (with 0 GPF Or World's Gold) , and to a lesser extent Shizuka Arakawa (1 Worlds Gold), do not have near the prestige or overall level of success as Michelle Kwan, Mao Asada or Irina Slutskaya, who have never won Olympic Gold but between them have 10 World's Gold and 9 GPF Gold. No offence to Sotnikova because it's not her fault, but in my opinion the Sochi scoring travesty has done a lot to tarnish the prestige of the Olympic Gold. I have nothing against Russian skaters because I loved Maria Butreskaya's 1999 World Championship FS to Gold, a great skater who didn't even medal in the Olympics, and Irina Slutskaya's inspiring Gold Medal FS performance in Worlds 2005.
2. Grand Prix Final
4. Europeans / 4CC
6. Nationals (depends on the particular country, of course, but this is my "on-average" placement...for instance, I'd say Japanese or American Nationals are above 4CC)
7. GP Events
8. Senior B comps
Men - both leaders (Hanyu and Chan) had serious mistakes, judges solved that Hanyu is higher. Hanyu and Chan were at the same level, so why not? All others were weaker than these leaders.
Ladies - three with very good skating. Yuna Kim skated, as for me, worse than Adelina and Caro. But Caro was third. Korean fans made scandal wanting Yuna be first - it is only their problem. I believe, skating of top-three was so close that any order of them is not a big mistake.
Pairs - 1st and 2nd places absolutely normal. Maybe 3rd and 4th may be made 4th and 3rd, but both these pairs had mistakes, so placing is normal.
Dance - V/M fans believe that they are better than D/W. In fact couples are very close, so no serious mistake in placing.
Scandal at SLC-2002 was much more serious, so nothing "especially at Sochi".
SLC-2002 is no doubt leader in "strange judging and scandals".
There were many non-obvious solutions at Worlds and GP.
3rd place of Caro at Worlds-2011 and 2014 - did she deserve 3rd, or in fact was 4th?
1st place of Chan with 2 deductions at Worlds-2013 in Canada. Home judging?
1st place of Alissa CZISNY with serious mistakes at Skate America-2011.
1st place of Kaetlyn OSMOND at Skate Canada-2012.
1st place of Mao ASADA at NHK Trophy-2012 (popped FS).
1st place of Lipnitskaia in Moscow 2013.
In some events like the Ladies at 4CC there is probably more competion at top then at Euro's. Without the Russians Ladies the rest of Europe with the exception of Kostner is weak while at 4CC you have the US and Japan and in a good year Canada.
My biggest interest in 4cc this year may be in Park So-Youn!! :soda:
Meite (who did not become really stronger) is now European leader after Kostner and Russians.
But .. at 4CC-2014 winner was Murakami, who newer in season was ahead Kostner (even at GP China, where Kostner had worst skating of the season) and newer in season was ahead Russians (except at Rostelecom Cup Gosviani with not so good skating, and Gosviani this season was not in Russian top). Second was Miyahara with about the same situation.
Euro had Kostner and Russians, 4CC - only skaters who were below Kostner and Russians.
In Men won Reynolds (it means not too high level of competition).
In Ladies top 3 were Japanese including Mao and Akiko, but no Ashley. Level close to Euro with Caro, Adelina and Liza.
In Pairs - D/R and M-T/M, of course weaker than Euro (V/T and S/S).
In Dance - both D/W and V/M, highest level.
In Men - chan and Takahashi. Strong level.
In Ladies - won Wagner, 4th at Worlds, all others from 4CC were lower than Wagner at Worlds. Europeans got gold and silver at Worlds.
In Pairs - pairs from 4CC (China, Japan, others) were below V/T and S/S at Worlds.
In Dance - both D/W and V/M, highest level.
In Men - no Chan, who became World Champion. May be a bit weaker than Euro-2011.
In Ladies - Ando won both 4CC and Worlds, level of 4CC comparable to Euro or maybe a bit higher.
In Pairs - non-European pairs were 3rd, 6th and below at Worlds. Euro was stronger.
In Dance - D/W were 1st both at 4CC and Worlds, Shibs 2nd at 4CC and 3rd at Worlds, no V/M at 4CC.
We see - at 2011-2013 Euro was stronger in Pairs, 4CC in Dance. In Men and Ladies situation may differ from year to year.