I agree with most everything you say, Bill, but surely, the care, expense and attention spent on capturing multiple mic perspectives (and making mixes of those perspectives) has to be in some kind of proportion to the quantity and quality of what is being recorded and the competence of those who do the recording? No?(...) Because what sounds natural, or appropriate to me may not be suitable to you. So multiple (within reason of course) microphone choices and positions is a tool that I enjoy. And wish I could afford more of them - then again I still wish I could afford more microphones too!
Put differently: if one can’t progam a decent, musically expressive and timbrally convincing part with, say, the SSWW’s Oboe — and one can’t —, it is of no solace or comfort whatsoever, it seems to me, that one can render that miserably sampled instrument with any choice of six different mic perspectives and/or two highfalutin stereo mixes, or any bloody combination thereof.
Example. What you just heard, is that SSWW Oboe — surely, the worst-sounding, most useless Oboeoïd in the history of human civilization (I’ve also left in some of the library’s vibrato to illustrate how wonderfully professional-sounding the New Spitfire has implemented that type of expression) — rendered with two mic perspectives (pass 1 and 2: the two Tree choices) and, pass 3, one of those Rolls Royce Stereo Mixes that you get with the *cough* 'pro version' of the library.
Now, be honest. First of all, is the difference in sound worth it? Do you even hear it? (And do you think you'd notice it in the context of a mock-up?) And secondly, is the difference in sound überhaupt relevant in view of the ghastly quality of the sampled instrument? And does "the peerless detail, from pin-pont sharp to super-wide, of the best from Neumann, Schoeps and Sennheiser" enhance the musical experience of listening to this affront to the art of sampling?