Great post.. I was especially interested in the info on hakama in the FAQ, as I'd never heard of their general usage under O Sensei..
After reading the FAQ I'd probably agree that hakama should open to be worn by everyone. With one proviso - they make it very difficult to see what your feet are doing, which is important for us beginners - so I'd be inclined to suggest that 6th kyu don't wear them, purely from a learning point of view..
My 2p worth