Could it be that it is not so black or white? Perhaps the hardest-core aikido brutes are still using internal power, and the flakiest aikido wizards are actually practicing martial techniques, just in a really far-out way?
There's a really great explanation for why it isn't black and white.
1. If you haven't ever gotten hands on with someone who has aiki to a decent level and can use it proficiently, then there will always be debates online and offline about what aiki is or isn't.
2. If you actually have gotten hands on with someone who has aiki to a decent level and can use it proficiently, then all debate is over. Period.
Which means, bluntly, that if you're still debating what aiki is or isn't, then you're in category 1. And if you have an open mind, you can track down the people in category 2 and ask them about their experiences because so far it's pretty much 100% consensus on what aiki is.
And, to me, neither "the hardest-core aikido brutes" or "the flakiest aikido wizards" are doing aiki. Hence, all the debate about what aiki is because they're still in category 1.
There is a very good reason why every jujutsu man, every judo man, every kendo man, every boxer, every sumo man who ever tested Ueshiba came away, 1) bested and 2) with the knowledge that what they had just encountered was entirely and completely different. These men had "been around the block a time or two", had worked with many other high level martial artists, and had some high level skills themselves. If they had encountered yet another high level jujutsu person, it would have been, same ole, same ole. It wasn't.
Now you have boxers, MMA people, judo people, aikido people, Daito ryu people, taiji people, etc testing someone with decent aiki skills and coming away 1) bested and 2) with the knowledge that what they had just encountered was entirely and completely different -- it was aiki.
Nothing new under the sun ... just history reasserting itself.