Thanks for that post, toby! Very cool to hear some of that background!
You're right, indoor climbing has changed the game. Then again, so did sport climbing at one time.
Personally, I love adventure, route-finding and being outside. After all, our company's name is Acopa Outdoors. Still, we love climbing in all its forms and appreciate the fact that indoor climbing has made it possible for millions of kids to try climbing -kids whose parents would never have allowed them to go hang on the side of some cliff, out in the wilderness, but have no problem dropping them off at the gym for a couple of hours of what they now regard as a safe, fun and hip workout.
Now you've got parkour and competitions such as the American Ninja Warrior that have given birth to gyms where people practice similar stunts around foam-covered walls and under careful supervision from attentive spotters. Is it a little bit contrived? Maybe. Does it look like fun? I'd say it does!
I think it's a yin-yang thing that's been going on since at least the days of Harding vs Robbins. One side of climbing doesn't take itself too seriously and is essentially represented by the idea that the only rules are don't die and have fun. The other side regards climbing outdoors as a mystical, spiritual experience that is all about bringing yourself up to a challenge rather than bringing the challenge down to you.
I think both are like two sides of the same coin. They need each other to balance each other out. The back and forth tug of war between them keeps climbing moving forward.
And please keep those replies coming y'all, your opinion matters!