I don't think anyone is trying to hobble the top riders, and see the changes being made are an effort to allow more riders to compete when numbers are falling.
My take on this, going back to a format that is probably more popular with the over forty's riders that rode that style when it was the way everyone competed. The younger generations who grew up riding stop and hop are obviously going to feel the same about what they grew up doing.
I think the change's back and forth over the past decade are not the cure to the problem and seem neither side will give one way or the other a chance, been there done that, didn't work then won't now.
From what I can gather the latest changes are an effort to allow more riders to take part by easing the sections while still taking points of the best riders with a stricter way of scoring, which seems to work for some but not other's.
So why not apply both systems.
If a five for a stop is deemed too harsh, then change it to one for each dab taken, one for a back up, one for a hop, ease the sections and allow each ride 1,2,3,4, 5th your done attempt at each section.
Only way to clean a section is by a feet up no stop ride, trick riding is allowed but costs a dab / infraction, both the rider and observer may be more inclined to give and except a penalty point over a failure for the same mistake under the current format.
I don't know if it would work or not, but do know the many times the rules have changed back and forth haven't seemed to done any good.