On a personal level I find myself surrounded by teachers and students of Aikido these days (from all branches of the art) and every one of them sees this as foundational to what aikido is.
All the best
I think that's the part I have the most difficulty in understanding is that you have testimonial after testimonial of senior persons that have gotten hands on with people, then saying, at the very least, typically, "There's value here", if not calling it part of the foundational "stuff" of the art they practice. (I know where I fall on the value spectrum, but I'm allowing for those that still consider IS/IP a "nice to have").
So, it seems that there would at least be an impetus to "get out and see" rather than write it off wholesale, like I've seen done by those without direct experience. For those that aren't interested, don't care, then fine - ignore it and move on. Why spend the energy combating the notion of it if you aren't going to follow up and get hands-on experience?
Along the lines of what Greg and others have been mentioning in terms of discussions specifically addressing this stuff. I think there's merit in having designated threads/forums where everyone comes to the table to air their side/approach/perspective. Call it a transparency forum where people can say, here's what I'm working on, how to apply it, etc. Understanding upfront that there will be folks that contribute from the perspective of "I already know all that and you're doing it wrong" - I would ask that they be challenged based on the logic of their points, rather than "You're a big meanie!!".
Anyways, I'm still optimistic as more people get demonstrable skills it will be more a clinical discussion and less a philosophical one. I know they're best had in person, but as someone still very limited in my travelability, I gotta make do with what I got. So I'm selfishly an advocate for these types of discussions to be fruitful and go somewhere productive, ultimately. Even if the end state is that it gets you to figure out who you want to meet up with in person.