I have both a Boye Set and a Knit Picks Options (nickle plated) set. I like the Options better because the tips are more tapered, and I just like working with nickle plated needles
. The actual cable/chord is fantastic!! It's very flexible, yet strong; so you don't have to worry about boiling them to get pliable.
I still use my Boye set, and the only thing that I really don't like about them is the stiffness of the cable. I don't like having to boil them to get them to flex comfortably. As far as the smoothness of the join where the cable connects to the needle, my Boye joins are fine; they've never snagged anything when I use them. Maybe you have a defective set??
Of the two, I recommend Knit Picks Options (nickle plated). They aren't cheap; but if you can afford a long term knitting tools investment, definately save up for them.
Hope that helps!