Yes, and the bland assertion made by many aikidoka that kicks are easy to defend against needs to be qualified. IMO, the kicks that you're likely to actually encounter in a self-defense situation are easy to defend against, simply because not many people are competent kickers. To generalize that to saying, "Oh, it's easy to defend against a kick," and then go to someone who is actually proficient in one of the kicking styles and invite him/her to try and kick you, is a short trip to being sorry and sore.
I re-read all of the responses on this thread and I cannot find one single "bland assertion" regarding kicks. I would generalize your position and say the same regarding many attacks. How many video clips in Aikido do we see in which the attacker looks like a stiff from a cheap zombie movie? How many shomenuchis do we see with the free hand limp and dangling? How many yokomenuchis do we see where the arm is drawn away from center, off to one side before the strike is initiated? I doubt that you and I were ever taught to strike and kick like we commonly see done in many Aikido video clips.
I spend a lot of time teaching students how to attack properly (from a martial arts perspective). I also teach them how to attack like a good street fighter, or boxer, wrestler. If we are not able to practice safely with some degree of realism to the attacks, I fail to see how any of us can expect our practice to translate into the types of attacks that commonly occur outside of the dojo.