H&D pears have been lousy for several years now. It could be growing conditions, but does correspond to the sale of the company. A friend sends them every Christmas and this year I finally took the company up on its quality guarantee. They replaced the pears promptly, but the new fruit was just as bad. Brown blotching on the skin, very hard. By the time they had some give at the stem, the flesh was bletted, and the flavor was very bland, with little sweetness and less juice than they used to have. Googling for H&D pear complaints reveals widespread disappointment.
I think the skin may also be tougher than it once was. My parents came from Germany. While my mother adopted the American style of eating from the hand, my father, who was in no way elegant, peeled and sliced pears and apples, and ate most fruit with a fork.