I don't think anyone was questioning your experience with smart controllers, so I'm not sure why you bring that up at all. But, congratulations with 16 years in the smart controller business..
Anyways, YOUR previous bad experience shouldn't dissuade the rest of the community from trying to find something that works for them. Simply because you don't like a given measurement doesn't really qualify it being removed from the product. Just ignore it if you don't like it; like TV commercials, political pieces in a tabloid, or annoying internet ads. Well, it all boils down to politics in the end, I guess.
For you, your end water bill is the most important. For me, the healthiness of my yard is the most important, even if water consumption goes up.
I'd like to follow the progress based on some number, and a Smart vs Dumb schedule would (IMO) be a good number to see, and easy to calculate.
Gallons per month is also a nice-to-have number, but again, the change in weather makes it hard to make any sense out of it. It's a bit like watching the sum of your portfolio, without knowing how the stock market performed.
Historical Precipitation Data, Sugar Land, TX:
July 2009: 0.96" of rain
July 2010: 15.90" of rain
July 2011: 0.06" of rain
How do you even gauge you sprinkler performance, just by looking at your water bill, if you don't compare it to the actual precipitation?
Again, I'll bring up my Nest controllers, which, just like Rachio, is affected by the weather and other factors:
100% accurate; probably not. Better than not having any performance indicator; surely!