Most everyone, I think, understands the silliness that is the huge "breakfall" or the "air time". It's a cooperative endeavor, for the most part.
And most everyone, I think, understands the necessity of knowing how to roll, fall, etc. Just a quick glance at other martial arts shows that there is some amount of training on rolling and falling.
I'm going beyond all that. I'm going to the heart of Modern Aikido's training paradigm of using the ukemi model. In a fashion, training includes not going against the force by using the body to move certain ways and to then train the body to roll out of situations. This training ingrains specific reactions in people that are, at the heart, opposite good martial training.
Do we really think Ueshiba was rolling/falling when he was fighting, sparring, or being tested by other budo men? IMO, Ueshiba's version of ukemi was to manage the forces/energy of an attack internally such that the option of roll or fall was never there.
If any of us are looking to the future of aikido and looking to aiki, I think we'll have to take a long, hard look at every aspect of Modern Aikido training and to sit aside what we "know" so that we can look at it from a fresh perspective. And maybe some are already doing that.