I agree with your point about training to strike. It is well and good to know where atemi may go, it is another thing entirely to be able to deliver one. Some of the members of my dojo train in other martial arts specifically for the purpose of providing better attacks as uke. For example, its hard to train in Aikido's responses to kicks if none of the ukes can kick well. Some people just focus their training differently, I guess.
I once visited a dojo where the instructor insisted that using atemi was a sure sign of poor technique. I don't think that's totally true. Such diversity in a single martial art!