I completely agree. although some kata seem to have showy stuff built in. That isn't hard to imagine since if you look at in particular, some northern Chinese forms (likely where at least some okinawan kata or at least influence come from), you'll see acrobatics and economy of movements which are pretty hard to believe they entirely contain useful fighting principles other than for developing raw athletic ability.
even 300 years ago, there are records in Chinese martial art manuals mentioning 'street performing' forms. forms designed for show/entertainment, with a martial-like look and feel based loosely on fighting form.
taking those forms as they are and trying to find application is like reverse-engineering an XMA performance. sure, you'll find something - but will it be any less arbitrary than training without them?
can't blame them though...since the previous generation also demonstrated similar:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cLWvmOy0IE8&mode=related&search=