Well, Dino Dini left the KOA because of PBD.
Steve, what you have to keep in mind is that there were some huge fights in the beginning of the KOA once the difference between PBD and NOPBD became well-known.
To start with, it was widely thought that PBD only existed in the Oracle crack. It didn't help that the guy who made the crack made his entrance in the KOA and amused himself by claiming that he was responsible for PBD and had thus "improved the game".
You then had a large bunch of PBD users who said that PBD was nevertheless how they grew up with KO2 and that they would not accept that only NOPBD was insisted upon.
It was soon found out that PBD did indeed exist in the first original versions of KO2, and that there was thus no moral argument to be made about PBD only being something that people with pirated copies of KO2 used.
So, to accomodate both PBD and NOPBD users, a compromise was made where Team A decided on which version to play on. An effect of this was that all players had to practice with both PBD and NOPBD.
Then, around 2005, Steve Camber made it possible for each player in a game to choose between PBD or NOPBD, in the same game.
Then there was another huge fight...
I will just note one argument for the record. Gianluca felt that attacking with PBD was objectively stronger than attacking with NOPBD, and so, by allowing a free choice for each player, you would in effect push everybody to choose PBD. This was surely a valid concern.
On the other hand, history did not quite prove Gianluca right. The 2006 and 2007 WCs were won by a NOPBD player, and we did not see a mass exodus of players going from NOPBD to PBD.
My own feeling about the strength of PBD and NOPBD is like this:
If I play against a relatively weak defender, and if I use PBD, then I can take some extra time in the attack to trap the ball in a good spot for a subsequent PBD routine where I can move for a clear shot past the keeper. So, PBD allows me some easier goals here, because I have the extra time due to not being pushed by the defender.
However, when you play against a guy who is very strong with Cox and Co., I am not so sure PBD is better. You can compare it like this:
1) With NOPBD and aggressive quick finishing (using many curled shots), you may score, say, on 40% of your chances. You are not always in the right position for a curled shot, and there is some randomness in the shot, so you will have to miss sometimes.
2) With PBD and trying for dribbling runs, a strong Cox may stop you often enough so that you only score on 30% of your chances.
Gianluca also hinted that you can do the same stuff with PBD as you can with NOPBD, so that PBD had the best of everything for the attacker. However, this is IMHO not quite right. Some moves and techniques simply lend themselves better to NOPBD than to PBD.
The main conclusions to draw, and the ones that are relevant for people new to the KOA, are that people can play in the way they are used to, and that they are not disadvantaged by doing so. Familiarity is far more important than objective differences between PBD and NOPBD.
I also think history has proven that the introduction of PBD/NOPBD mix was a major improvement, everything taken into account. Tournaments are easier to run, and new people don't have to attack in a mode they are not used to.
I spent all the time on my Amiga playing with an original version of KO2 that had PBD. This is what feels natural to me, as it does to countless other people in the KOA. No, we are not cheating.