I've had excellent luck with Chinese algae eaters, in spite of their reputation.
Alot of people just trade them in for small ones when they get big (~4 inches) because they stop taking care of algae and/or get aggressive. You can get 1 to 2 years before they have to be exchanged.
I have two adults of the golden/yellow/albino? type. In my larger tank (75g) they didn't get aggressive. I kept the two in there and they didn't pick on the slow fish, but kept the tank clean. They had a great deal of space, though. I recently moved one of them to a new smaller tank and he's not very good with the algae, but his former colleague maintains the 75g tank on his own very well. In the small (30g) tank, my CAE is doing a crummy job on the algae, but he's very cute. He's also remarkably peaceful and shares a cave with a female betta and a baby clown pleco.
So, my limited experience with Chinese algae eaters leads me to think that, just like every other fish I've had, there are huge individual differences. Put them in, watch them, and keep watching them! When they're young, they are very good with algae. When they are older, they might be.