Thanks Nick. I see you are a cobbler by trade, which goes to confirm what a number of cobblers have told me on that topic.
As you rightly point out: it is merely a question of preference, eg functionality vs. looks.
Now, hopefully, this will finally debunk the myth that inserts will eventually destroy one's shoes.
I highly suspect that EG, and others, advise against them as they hope for customer to bring their shoes back to them for re-soling. At twice the cost...