I'm certainly in the "AiKi is a feeling" and "AiKiDo is about how you see people and the world" camp.
One of my teachers used to say, "AiKiDo doesn't work if you aren't smiling." Another teacher often said, "it will only work if you are really willing to care about and like your uke."
These teachers, not surprisingly, focused on teaching techniques that really only worked when I had good will in my heart. More than that, the deeper the affection and warmth that I felt, the more effective the technique became, so that I learned to notice the difference between 'surface' harmony and deeper harmonies.
I know that there are ways of teaching AiKiDo that don't require this focusing on techniques driven by the strength of ones hips and the power of ones center. I believe that this, more technically minded, AiKiDo is an important part of the art. However, without the experience of techniques driven primarily by compassion, I would not have believed that they really work, and that was, for me, an important insight.