I think that if Douglas was still around, there woul be heated arguments on Douglas versus Boeing. Had Douglas remained... more competitive than they did... Airbus would not be nearly as successful as it is today. It would be like Canadair taking over the world. Hardly likely! But with the loss of the Douglas line, Airbus found themselves in a fortunate position. They were then the only competitor to Boeing.
I love the Douglas aircraft. I have almost always preferred them to Boeings. However, with the advent of the 737NG, I prefer that plane to the MD
-80. But I prefer an MD
-80 to a 737classic.
The Douglas planes were built like tanks, according to some of my aviation professors who worked on both types. Douglas used high-tech, flat aft bulkheads, while Boeing stuck with hemispherical designs. Just stuff like that.