I think everyone has this same view, until they uke for someone that is really very good.
I know some of my kokyu nages still don't work like they should and always seemed like just an exercise. That is until I had that same one that never really seemed applicable in a real life situation actually used on me. They really do work.
You also need to take kokyunages with the ideas of energy and flow. You can't do an ikkyou on a semi. If you can't see how a kokyunage would work in real life, you need to do more randori, lot's more. Randori is meant to be dynamic, it's when you take control (what control there is) of that dynamism that you see opportunities and ways that these techniques can be applied.
If you're below shodan like I am, I'd take any analytical thinking about things like this with a grain of salt. I mean, before shodan, you don't even have the basics down.