fast forward: europe in the 60s and long t-bars that involve terrain trails you ride up. a kid could get picked up and just touch his tips.
decent topic for stories ....
In the 1960s I often rode a platter/poma surface lift at Blue Knob, PA that could potentially turn you into a career choirboy on those cold mornings when the pole springs were frozen in place. I can also remember taking repeat rides on a long t-bar on Spruce Peak at Stowe in 1971 during a frigid visit the family made there.
I rode a serious t-bar for the first time in decades on a trip to Austria in 2003, enjoying a nice conversation with a guy from Holland on that ride. Before and after the t-bar I rode a modern 8-pass gondola and a bubble top six pack express chair. Fun diversity of lifts in Europe.
More recently I had a cool retro moment joining my teenage son on his first ever t-bar ride in 2008 on the west face at Mont Sainte Anne, Quebec. It was a beauty and climbed about 1000' vertical. http://www.snowjournal.com/images/gallery_snowjournal/47f0294c15945.jpg
I've only heard about Roca Jack, that speedy surface lift is in a class by itself.
A T-Bar could run in high winds better than a chair, I'd think. You're generally more sheltered on the snow.
But that may be the list of advantages to the skier, over a chair, and still, skiing up the mountain is not too bad.