Doesn't the size, speed and direction of the circle (or irimi) you use in any Aikido application really dependent upon the situation at hand, vis a vis - the attack, the terrain/environment in which the aggression takes place and the desired outcome when applying the technique to begin with?
I think the size of the circle and a lot of other things are dependent upon the situation, and would emerge naturally once one has some degree of understanding of aiki principles.
In training my Aikido has looked like everything from Judo and Jujitsu to Chin na and Hapkido, depending on what point I'm trying to get across or the size, speed and skill level of the attack/attacker.
It all depends-in the end all the paths lead to the same place, some may just take longer than others.
So why quibble? Train hard and consciously, head for the light and heat, stare death right in the face and illuminate the path etc. etc. etc.
Just my take on the thing. The true path is really no path. Shu Ha Ri says it all.