From Charlotte to Columbia to Savannah to Atlanta to Montgomery to Jackson and to Little Rock, I do believe Rabbiteye will do better than either northern or sourthern highbush. But, once you have one of those 20 below zero winters, the highbush may be alive an the rabbiteye not.
(And I don’t know what Richmond VA area all-time low is, perhaps in the negative 20 range.)
I have picked rabbiteyes in the Marion/Rutherfordton area of North Carolina, and Gastonia/Charlotte area. I have also planted northern highbush in Charlotte, and they need more irrigation to survive the hot dry summers than the rabbiteye. I only grow a couple plants of Rabbiteye in Kentucky.
But, you asked if in general the rabbiteye are less tasty. I have done most of my blueberry growing in zone 6 rather than 7,8 and 9–so my side-by-side comparison of rabbiteye and hibhbush are few. The rabbiteye are hardier in the cities I mentioned, and will do well. Farther north in zone 6 or farther south into zone 8b and 9, rabbiteye are not going to do as well as the southern highbush in my view…and in general the rabbiteye are not as delicious in the same way muscadine grapes are not as delicious…but some people would dispute both of those assertions. (Rabbiteye will also eventually get 8 feet tall.)
So, I second what Bradybb said just a bit ago, I prefer N Highbush. And I do have a Brightwell rabbiteye that I like. If I were in South Carolina (except for the NW corner of the state) I would find the rabbiteyes easier to succeed with, even if not quite as flavorful.
In zone 6 Kentucky the NHB do fine and taste fine. As to certain varieties, Bluecrop has been the mid-season standard for U-Pick it seems. Part of this is that the total crop in poundage is high, and the picking is extended so they’re not all gone in a week and you come back and pick more. I would consider them a bit sour, but some would call that ‘flavorful’.
Patriot is one that has good flavor and plenty of cold hardiness, but I’ve not tried to grow it south of zone6. I find Blueray and Sunshine Blue to work well, but there are 60+ to choose from, and like apples, not everybody is going to have the same variety be their ‘favorite’!
DiMeo in Maryland or New Jersey, offers a huge number of varieties of Norther High Bush for sale. I also recommend Burnt Ridge Nursery in Washington State for blueberry plants. I believe there is a blueberry nursery or two in eastern NC, but I’ve not dealt with them…they probably have Rabbiteye plants mostly.