Re: Are we really doing O'Senseis Aikido?
With deep respect for where I think you are in your journey, you seem to be confused between Aikido as a quality of training, and Aikido as the result of that training. We all want to get as close as possible to where O Sensei was, and we continually agonize over whether or not we are training the right way to get there. (Well, some of us are sure we train the right way and are more concerned with criticizing the way other folks train).
Frankly, O Sensei's Aikido is the product of an early lifetime of training in a number of other martial arts, followed by a professional existence on the very intense and tumultuous Japanese martial arts scene of the first two thirds of the 20th century.
He taught various students in different ways. I respect your belief that Saito Sensei offered exactly the teaching that he received from O Sensei with no personal "embelishments" but in my opinion it doesn't work that way.
So there are all of these slightly different training traditions out there, and you have had the opportunity to experience many of them, as you cast yourself as quite a wanderer. You seem to be trying to figure out which is the "right" one, while emphasizing that you have some paragons of Aikido that you are deeply inspired by.
Might I humbly suggest that you simply find a style of training that feels right for you, and continue to be inspired by the Aikido greats you admire?
Of the people you may come across who train in some different way, you can either ignore them and what they are doing, or you might try training with them, show them what you've learned, see if there is anything they have to teach you.