I remember from reading a number of your earlier posts that you have been a major proponent of respecting the budo aspects of aikido "practice" I don't think you are refuting that proposition at this point (though I would never suppose to speak for you). I'm supposing the intent of this post is merely to put greater emphasis on the philosophical/spiritual nature of aikido in the larger general practice objectives.
Of course, this is the conundrum... People tend to fall one way or the other and the essence, in my opinion, is lost.
Aikido is a form of Budo. It is a personal practice with a martial paradigm. In my opinion the martial paradigm provides direct and immediate feedback as to ones level of understanding. I am a big believer in training not being false from an energetic standpoint.
But that doesn't mean we change the outer form. The outer form is what makes it Aikido. The art as practice involves both partners acting within that form. That doesn't mean they are colluding... if the principle inside the form isn't there, the technique shouldn't work.
But the outer form was designed by the Founder to point our attention inward and not outward. I think that the inappropriate-ness of the basic form of Aikido for applied fighting was intentional. The "lessons" that one might have had by doing another martial art are meant to be contained in Aikido but from a whole new perspective and for a whole new purpose. The martial paradigm is necessary but it isn't about fighting, in my strongly held opinion.