in reply to
best practices for checking system return values for piped commands?
The error checking doesn't work correctly on the last one ("boom|true"), so it fails. I believe this happens because although boom fails, something is sent through the pipe, and 'true' succeeds on the other end of the pipe.
On a Linux 2.6, with a bash shell:
$ boom|true; echo $?
bash: boom: command not found
This is because, according to the documentation of my shell, The return status of a pipeline is the exit status of the last command, unless the pipefail option is enabled. So, if your shell works like bash in this respect, your tests are returning the results they should.