Well... the knifemakers gave you a knifemaker's perspective, for sure.
I'm an old-school pragmatic Chef, and my perspective is based solely on function. I know what feels right - for me, what does not... and more importantly.. WHY.
The extension of the choil away from the Wa created by the original design just fits me better. I have to modify my pinch on all my knives w/the machi hidden... really annoying & uncomfortable. The shorter the blade the worse it is. W/o the machi, the tight fit jams my pinch all day long. My finger has no room between the choil & ferrule. Damn Americans (i am one, but not included) always have to bastardize anything they get their paws on.
As far as I understand, the only reason the Konosukes come with the machi hidden in the handle is because customers (Americans) complained to Mark that it didn't look finished. The Japs knew WTF they were doing; I prefer to leave well enough alone!