Re: Why no tsuba?
Graham, have you considered that the training with the tsuba allows them to do things that otherwise would be dangerous? Therefore it allows them to do more. And it allows them to train with the weapon the bokken is ostensibly standing in for -- namely a katana.
Of course there are many who don't wish to train outside their comfort level. Or to experience more direct aspects of martial training. To generalize and call it "laziness" is simply insulting to many who damned well know the difference. I've been on the receiving end of incredibly intense matched bokken work without the tsuba in place where the extremely high level instructor (thankfully) had the control to not hurt me. But it also changed the dynamics of the encounter. Doing it again with a bokken properly fitted with the tsuba changed it dramatically allowing it to be done at full speed and intensity.