You know ... gear heads will be gear heads.
We all have our preferences and whats right for one person is not the end-all-be all for others.
For example - I use speedplays on both my road and tri bikes and would never change. I am a huge fan of my set up - I love the configurable float and keep them pretty tight on release.I love to climb and I love to descend. The harder the better. I really push them on the climbs and they have never let me down. Best ride this year was pushing 40 on the curves on skyline drive. Amazing balls out riding. Stupid *&^% eating grin, pick bugs out of your teeth kinda day.
That said .. on a mountain bike? Yeah, I am a total wuss. I used to run Shimano 505s spds and when i was doing the bike build I toyed with the idea of getting a pair of my beloved speedplays for the mountain bike. I looked at the lightest/most responsive setup i could afford and couldn't wait to get good enough to buy it. But then i started riding (remember philpug?) and i found out I just couldn't stay clipped in. Whenever i get scared I yank my feet out and lose everything.... Usually resulting in a totally avoidable fall. Or i get unnerved by a tight turn, an rock/tree/whatever and just want to walk that part because i can see the fall before it happens. The answer? spend as much time on that bike as i do on my others, build my skills and my confidence. The trouble is, I cant get good time in on the saddle if I am always scared and walking.
After Tahoe Rim two years ago with a certain set of EPIC regulars, I rode a bike with plain old flats .. and you know what? As low as my skills were compared to the folks i rode with, and as hard as climbing was without the ability to pull up, i rode better and MORE confident than I ever had at home. I left that ride with a stupid *&^% eating grin. Now, on my mountain bike i run Shimano M324s, half SPD half platform. Heavy as hell. About as elegant as an manatee. But just want i need to get on that bike.
I guess what i am saying is this. There is nothing simple about riding a bike. Its a skill and it needs to be practiced. Skills and comfort on one bike/terrain does not inherently translate to another directly. What works for you might not be "technically" the best. But if it works for you, then it works for you. And if it works for you, that means you get to ride more .. and i get to ride with more people.
Ride, ride more and then ride some more. Just like skiing, riding is about being outside, getting better because you are doing it more and chasing those big grin days! And always remember .. any day you end the day with a smile is a damn good day. :)
P.s. to set the record straight ... Roadies don't ride flat pedals... if they are.. they aren't roadies no matter what type of bike they are on ;)
Sincerely, this girl who spends each summer chasing records for the most epic bike tan :)