440 series steels are kind of looked down on because you're hanging out with a bunch of knife enthusiasts. There is nothing inherently bad about 440 steels.
As mentioned, there was a time when 440C was top shelf. Though many of us didn't care too much for it. It was hard to sharpen with the common stones we had back then. And it tended to chip more easily than the plain high carbon we were used to. These are both reasons a Buck 440C 119S didn't last long with me. Or my brother when I gave it to him. It chipped way to easy and then took forever to sharpen with Arkansas stones.
440B has never been too commonly used by knife makers. It costs more than 440A for price point, and isn't quite as good a steel as 440C for nearly the same money.
440A is still widely used in knives yet today. It's inexpensive to buy, easy on manufacturing tooling, heat treats well and takes a good edge and can hold it long enough for most uses. So it makes pretty decent inexpensive kitchen knives. And many slip-joint patterns, like say a Peanut or Stockman, can do very well with this steel.
If you think you understand what is going on, you haven't been paying attention.