I agree with you, MojoMan. The old traditional method of placing bindings with the ball of the foot at the middle of the running surface has never made sense to me. The ball of the foot has little to do with it--and obviously puts the center of a big boot well behind the center of a small boot. The difference is far more apparent on today's much shorter skis. Placing the boot center over a "boot center mark" makes a little more sense, but still doesn't quite capture the critical points to me (and who knows how the ski manufacturer has determined that center marK?).
I prefer bindings like the VIST plate systems, that allow you to change your boot position easily. And I usually find that I like them a notch or two (cm or two) forward of the "recommended" center position.
Binding mounting is a controversial area, and "recommended" locations are much more arbitrary than most people realize. Personally, I'd love to see manufacturers identify the "sweet spot" I've often spoken of (the point which, when pressured, will cause the tipped ski to bend and carve the cleanest arc). Then we could mount our bindings to put our neutral balance point (between center and heel, as if the tibia extended to the bottom of the boot) over that spot. At least as a starting point, that would seem to make sense to me!
All that said, though, it's still important to remember that much of fore-aft pressure regulation in skiing comes from movements other than flexion-extension of the ankles, knees, hips, spine, and arms. Rotary movements of the legs are important too, the moreso the more we incline into a turn (or stand vertical across a steep slope). If not clear on this, picture a garden rake standing vertically. To apply more pressure to one side of the rake (one end of the "T"-shaped rake head), you'd tip the handle in that direction--like moving our body forward or back on skis. But lay that rake down horizontally on the ground. Now applying pressure to one side or the other will require twisting the handle--right?
So like the rake, at any angle other than perpendicular to the ground, rotary movements become critical adjusters of fore-aft pressure on skis. This is a movement I'm quite conscious of in my own skiing. If I don't feel the tips of my skis engaging sufficiently when inclined deeply in a turn, a subtle twist of my legs takes care of it quickly. "Pushing forward"' against my boot cuffs feels like entirely the wrong movement--and indeed, it is a move in the wrong direction (toward the outside of the turn, when I really want my skis to move me into the turn).
Another point to ponder!