Are you refering to the nylon or muslin? I use a nice-sized nylon bag for my specialty grains because it's reusable and keeps more of the little husks out of my wort. I usually use the little muslin socks for hops because it seems to let it get all the goodies out and the nylon seems to not let the hops get good and soaked.
Did that come close to what you wanted to know? As for how the "die-hards" feel about it, who cares? Of the many hobbies I've tried over the years, homebrewing is one of the most personalized. Sure, the concept is generally the same but there are a lot of options open to how you feel you want to do it. Have fun.
I've used the Muslin kind myself. I guess I was just wondering if the final result is better when you steep and sparge the grains loose, instead of using the bags. I'll find out myself in about 3 weeks when the batch is finally ready.
If you're just using flavor adjunct malts, it really makes no difference. The advantage of a good sparge is primarily better extraction when you're doing real mashes. Especially with crystal malt, which contains already converted sugars in a crystallized form, a grain bag is fine for a steep. Mashing crystal malts is no different than steeping.