Well first of all, I'm glad to hear that my words are stuck in your head while you're out skiing... MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!!
That's all I can expect from this site. If 3 years from now my words come back to haunt you or help you with a breakthrough, then its all worth it to me. Unbalanced? Hmm. No I don't think so. "Dramatic" perhaps....for a reason.
Anyway powder is really a different thing from skiing on hardpack. We don't use our edges in powder. Maintaining edge connection is a moot point. Pressure management is equally if not more important for different reasons, similar to bumps.
I will say this, Lito has some great things to say about powder skiing in his book. He starts out by talking about using up-unweighting movements. I remember when I was reading it I was thinking to myself...."what the Fuuu___"? How can he be so old school? But I kept reading. Turns out the up-unweighting was powder skiing 101. Powder skiing 201 in the next chapter was retraction based.
Listen..... in powder I huck myself, I bank, I angulate, I hop, I retract, I glide and soar...I do whatever feels good. All bets are off in powder. The only requirement is a big smile. Big fat skiis make the anything-goes mantra apply even more so. BUT.... 90% of my turns, particularly if a link some nice S's in a row....are retraction based.
Retraction based powder turns will be more effective and elegant then up-unweighted ones. Its not that up-unweighting is so terrible there, but its just not as effective. There are certain moments when an up-unweight will be needed and useful and good. Its not like you need to be this boring retraction dude that just makes it look too easy with your upper body doing zero pouncing. But a series of up-unweighted turns in powder are simply not as effective and I don't agree with you that retraction turns in powder are harder on your body. They are way smoother when done right.
For one thing, an up extension requires that you push down onto something in order to push yourself up into the air. Ever tried pushing down into 3 feet of fluff? Its not efficient. On the other hand, harnessing turn forces and flexing in order to let those forces rise your skis to the surface is effortless. Its just a matter of timing. Extending through the body of the turn positions your COM to the inside of the turn in a nice bank.
Flexing during release makes a lot of sense since you bring your skis underneath you as you transition to the other side.
Honestly, I view up-unweighting in powder as being acceptable, but sorta of survival-ish. Its what you do when you have to for as few times as possible. Retraction turns will serve you much better in the pow, as they will in the bumps. I don't want to talk about the odd turn or two where a turn like that is useful. That is the exception to the rule. There are always exceptions to every rule, but that does not negate the rule. Of course we all need to be open minded to use whatever works. If I see a skier using nothing but up-unweighting down a powder run, I know that skier is missing out on superior skiing.
In the bumps, up-unweighting is FAR more damaging than in powder. In powder you can get away with a lot. And I think that up-unweighting on groomers sits about halfway between bumps and powder in terms of ineffectiveness and depending on what you're trying to do. If you're trying to pass your L2 exam for short swing turns, then up-unweight all you want. If you're trying to do GS sized arc-to-arc turns, then its tremendously bad.....just like in bumps.
Anyway, glad to hear you were out gettin' some! Its puking here too, I'm going up tomorrow. Maybe this season will last another month after all.