Personally, I don't think training methods are the issue. I know people personally who have put their dog into the ring for group stays knowing full well their dog isn't ready. What's worse is that a dog I'm thinking of specifically is NOT okay with other dogs. And this person has no problem using punishment to train (and we all know I'm a cookie-pusher as far as methodology goes). IMHO, from what I've seen, it's more that people aren't willing to put forth the effort to properly train their dogs and they put them in the ring before they're ready.
With Risa's history, I would not ask her to do group stays. If all the dogs could hold position, she could do it just fine and there wouldn't be an issue. HOWEVER, I know who my dog is. For her, that's an extremely stressful situation even though she has the training. I would not want her to feel afraid in the ring; it's supposed to be her safe place. If another dog broke and came over to her, I would not want her to feel concerned for her safety (which she might). I also would not want to potentially ruin someone else's dog's good time in the ring if Risa were to overreact to a dog approaching her. Therefore, I long ago decided that I will not put her in that situation. Period. If everyone really thought about the potential repercussions of their actions (or their dog's actions), I don't think we'd have some of the issues we do.
That being said, I won't miss them any more than I miss the Honor in rally.
You are one of the few thoughtful and honest owners of dogs! And I agree with you about the reasons for the issues!
I also did not show in a class with a group stay (although we did do the ScH with the Long Down and he was good) because I knew him at the time and if a dog challenged him = FIGHT. Little dogs or friendly ones running up to him was fine but aggression was not going to work - so no Groups. GSD would probably get blamed!
The AKC actually cited the variety of methods (not naming them of course) in their reasons for the changes. I would agree it is more the trainer and application of the method.