I still like Shadows, I admit it is not perfect, but I felt it had a lot of the spirit of the OT present in it.
I don't see Dash as such a rip off as Han. The galaxy is bound to be full of his time, mercenaries and pilot/fighters for hire. I didn't like that they had him fly in the battle on Hoth, it felt like they were trying too hard with that one. And yeah, I have always been bugged by the close relationship with Xizor and the Emperor. It just doesn't fit, especially the idea that he would allow Xizor in the room with him while discussion the importance of killing or turning Luke to the darkside. Just isn't the kind of thing that seems like a cunning galactic dictator would do. In the end it really comes off as Palpatine having been played the fool, though they do kind of make the suggestion that the Emperor was using him to test Vader.
As for Boba Fett's role, hmm, I don't seem to remember him having an especially big role beyond "Look! There is slave 1, get it! Oh darn, it got away!"
And Jix? He was one of Jabba's bikers perhaps? I really don't remember too well even though I have read the book more than once. Obviously he wasn't cool enough to stand out to me.
And as for the Outrider showing up in the special edition of A New Hope (I am assuming that is the SOTE reference that you are annoyed at having been placed in the SE, it is the only one I know of), never really bothered me. It seems like more of an easter egg than anything else, as it is barely there and if you blink you miss it. Honestly, if you were not looking for it, you'd never catch it. Bet a lot of people reading this thread don't even know it is in there.
"Every time Warb sighs, an angel falls into a vat of mapel syrup." - Gaffer Tape