clowns and evolutionary male relatives aside, I agree with your position.
The vast majority of aikidoka worldwide, however, do not have Ueshiba's aiki, some are working towards it the best they can, some may achieve it, many wont. However, most are able to grasp the philosophy behind the art. Which has to be positive. Many students of aikido (my own included) would probably not fare that well under combat conditions. That is not what they practice aikido for. Why do we teach aikido to children, to those not in physically good shape and to the 'older' student?
Aikido- for me at least - is not just a martial art.
I agree with you. That being said, we should strive to achieve aiki if we are after O'Sensei's Aikido. If we teach, we should strive to teach it as well. I teach the aiki exercises to children, teens, and adults (whatever is considered old?). I believe that the great transformational aspects of Aikido are greatly enhanced as we develop aiki. Striving for less is simply that.
Hope to see you in NY soon.