Interesting discussion so far... will share my personal perspecitves.
I don't believe Field Trials are ruining hunting dogs when you consider that many great hunting dogs have Field Champions in their pedigree, or are Field Champions themselves... that is not to say that there aren't some breeders
who focus on run to the extent that it is detrimental to other qualities in a hunting dog.
I also don't believe that Field Trials are the only measure of a good bird dog. I think that different venues tell me different things about a dog. Whether it is Field Trials, NAVHDA, NSTRA, Cover Trials, Hunt Tests,etc I think each of them has value. No doubt there are many great hunting dogs out there without a title to their name or in their pedigree, I would not dispute that... however the issue boils down in some cases to who considers them a great hunting dog? Even being relatively new to the bird dog world, I have seen some people talk up a dog they think is great, and it is just not... at all. So whatever the venue, reviewing the results gives me some idea about a dogs abilities and what an impartial party thinks of them (granted none of those systems are perfect.)
As for Style vs Efficiency... I won't lie, I enjoy hunting more for getting to watch my dog work, then getting my bag limit. That is what provides me with me with the most enjoyment, and I don't see why having an efficient dog who is fun to watch/stylish is wrong; if you feel different, I won't gainsay you, its up to you to decide what gives you the most enjoyment