Personally, I just feel that there's a different quality in the kind of "shutdown" I used to be able to do relative to what I think Dan and Rob (and others) are talking about here (and what I can now do).
It's kind of a difference between active resistance and sort of a structural tone (for lack of a better term). Example? I'll try...
A) Old way: someone tries to put kotegaeshi on you, but you're able to adjust the angle and your balance so that they're not able to get enough leverage to really get the throw, or maybe you slip the lock before they can really get it set up. Either way, you're doing something, meaning there's some strategy/technique that you're using. Traditionally this is where the whole kaeshiwaza reverse-reverse-reverse-reverse back and forth happens (if you're playing that).
B) New way: someone tries to put kotegaeshi on you but they just run into a freakin' wall. They can't even get it started but from their vantage point, you're not doing anything. From uke's side, you're not having to coordinate or do much of anything to keep the technique from happening, it's just like the pressure on you (through the technique) just kind of dissipates all across your body (at least that's how it feels to me). Nage typically shoots you a weird look like, WTF is that? BUT (and here's an important distinction) you're not tense or resisting the technique, so you're able to move at full speed along whatever lines you choose, because you haven't had to adjust yourself to block the technique, it just kind of feels like it bounces off, or dissipates around/through you.
Don't know if that helps (or if it's what Rob, Dan, etc were actually talking about, but it's how things are working for me these days).
I understand what you're saying Chris but "B" seems kind of garbled to me in the sense that Uke attacks Nage tries KG in most training paradigms unless kaeshiwaza comes into play. As far as application goes I feel I have experienced both Aiki and Non Aiki; I am sure not to the degree you guys have but Aiki is there...It just a matter of discovering understanding and applying it.
Which brings up another point The use of Aiki by both Uke and Nage.
A long time Aikido guy who has experienced a few of you came out to our Dojo. One thing we both agreed on...Aiki is good for old folks in the sense that it should be used to finish the conflict as we old guys don't have the physical acumen to out fight younger quicker dudes LOL.