I don't disagree with you on that count for a second!
The main problem is claims versus reality and stated losses versus actual losses. Warren Thompson provided a different picture of F-86 ops in his nice new book on MiG Alley which came out last summer, and it covers some 700 86s that served in Korea (recall the USAF always claimed they never had more than 150 in theater during the course of the war; 4 wings x a TO&E of 75 per wing + 78 admitted losses + withdrawn F-86A aircraft makes Warren's numbers come out closer to the truth on that score.)
The Soviets DID claim 1,306 aircrat shot down, but those are their claims and not actual losses. I have compared the numbers and the admissions and the numbers simply do not add up. They would appear to overclaim by about 75% from what I can figure. The reason I say that is that from KORWALD and Warren's extensive books on Korea many of the claims made it back to base and crashed or were written off on landing. While Soviet sources state that they would validate based on SIGINT or agent reports, that seems to be a bit of a stretch.
The Chinese claims of 271 are even more fuzzy, and right now my best bet is about 10-20% of the claims are at least feasible. Their losses also look to be about 50% low, which follows KGB disinformation rules of reducing your losses by half and multiplying the other guy's by a factor of 5-10.
Likewise, at one point FEAF claimed 200 MiGs shot down and the admitted losses by the Russians today are only 34.
Dan -- based on KORWALD and Navy reporting it is possible to determine how many aircraft either crashed at sea or bellied on on Chodo Island but it will be tedious to determine and right now I don't have the time.
PS -- "Nevskiy Bastion" publishing in St. Petersburg has just released a reprint of the official Soviet General Staff study of the Korean War -- 928 pages of it -- that was done in 1954. I have a copy on order and will share the info with the newsgroup once I get to look it over. These are "warts and all" and not propaganda puff pieces per se.