Your right I do see a difference and remember thinking that the wfo crumbs werent as airy, not denser just the voids were smaller, not just on one pie but all...so it couldnt be a shaping thing, but the difference as you say was minimal and many things like the fact that this dough and starter was mixed at a different place( my parents home as opposed to my apartment) causing a change in temps or the fact that the dough did end up sitting around an hour past what I would consider the optimal time of use...ideal chit-chat, ugh...jk.
About the varying difference between users, I think this is what makes our pie unique from one another, It is noticeable that we all have a set style that is consistently repeated throughout out bakes. Your crumb and pies are distinguishable from infoodels and his leapording, and from bills pale, but blistered light and feathery crust, to mine. If we all pumped out the same pies it would be a very boring place, but because of these differences we have a community and something to talk about, we try to learn from one another and apply these difference to our own, see if they work/see if we like them then share our opinions in a land of cookie cutter pies this is non-existant...I couldnt tell you the last time I ordered papa johns sat down and was really like, "well huh this pizza was way better than that pizza, I wonder why?(insert laborious/tedious experiment to solve).
When you say leaving the comfort zone, what do you mean? What formulas are you going to try and thing radically crazy, I would love to know so perhaps I could try as well. I have been contemplating longer ferm times, but when I do the crumb seems to suffer...This is why I have settled at 12 hours, but perhaps this is my opportunity to leave the zone...
I would have to say that in all my experience scotts observations havent matched with my baking, I dont know but it seems tried and true for me, but his theory seems logical