I think one of the great pleasures, but also worries, of teaching is that some small comment on a technique in aikido can last with a student for years.
As far as intent goes, I'd agree with the previous post. However I know myself that I still change my aikido, sometimes quite radically, as I understand it more.
It is good to get the basic techniques within aikido, whatever way someone teaches. Once you know the 'techniques' you can then start thinking of the important things that actually make the techniques effective (timing, distance, not forcing, responsiveness etc) and perfecting these. Also, it allows you to make radical changes to your aikido once you understand certain concepts and the techniques are natural. However when students first start all they want to know is 'where do I put my hand?'.
With some forms of aiki-jitsu and many other martial arts there is a three stage learning process:
1. learn the mechanics of the techniques (where your hands go). This usually includes lots of atmeis etc - very jujitsu like.
2. learn to flow with your partner and develop distancing etc.
3. once the skills are innate, stop thinking about techniques and distancing etc, but learn to respond naturally, instinctively and responsively with your attacker.
Obviously it isn't usally as straight forward as this, but I think with aikido some of the most important things are quite subtle, but are hard for beginners to understand until they have the simple mechanics of the technique. Unlike many other martial arts, it is not just about control of your own body to enforce something on your partner, but also about being able to control the response of your partner.