Damn right they can be built to make power up top, and they also make great low RPM grunt monsters. The 467 in my blue Formula is the former, makes a few ticks over 700hp on pump gas and will turn 7500 easily, but I dont take it up that high very often, no need to. It has ported 87cc E heads and a 270/272 solid roller in it with a good bottom end, so now the block is the weak link. Its a seriously fun engine but its a HUGE pain to drive on the street.
I prefer the iron headed 455s for having fun off the track, and for some bracket racing. Once the traction issue was figured out the old Blue Firebird was hard to beat with the previous iron headed 455 and a mild cam. The only sbc in my area that could run with it had a 6-71 on it. 3750lbs, mid 11s with a stock converter in the Th400. Lots of fun building for torque.