Ah jeez, this answer is WAY simpler than I thought.
I looked up a few more examples of punctuated equilibrium, and I now understand much better what Gould is talking about. It makes a lot more sense to me now.
But what this explanation does is make you look even more disillusioned, because the idea of punctuated equilibrium doesn't refute Darwin's theory, it simply stands alongside, and in fact requires it's rules in order to work itself. It's simply a way of describing better what is seen in the fossil record. It's rather elegant, actually.
This description helped me a lot:
I don't understand how you can claim that via Gould's PE that he was attempting to deny evolution works as Darwin describes. I think you're looking for what you want to see in Gould's and Darwin's words and making too-obvious points about it.
Anyone with an honest, unprejudiced mind will see exactly what Gould and Darwin were plainly saying. Darwin was saying that his theory was bust without abundant transitional forms, and Gould was saying that the fossil record shows no evidence of gradualism.
Well, I would agree that both of those are true, if taken literally and perhaps a bit extremely.
However, TAKEN IN CONTEXT, they don't mean what you are apparently thinking they mean, and you're applying a false conclusion.