but I just don't see the benefits of working a whole kata against several 'opponents' stepping in with a poor oi tsuki (thats programed to miss anyhow ).

This statement leads me to believe you don't understand at least what I am describing. Even when working classical bunkai the attacks are real in that if you miss with your technique you get hit, hard. That is what develops precision. The fact that if you are not precise and don't use proper technique you get clocked. I think the question is if such training develops transferable skills, right? Is the precision developed in such training able to be used in the chaos of a "real fight."

You can write all day long and develop exquisite writing skills, however, if you never stop to sharpen your pencil eventually your words won't come out and you will not be able to get your point across.

It reminds me of when I played football in college. When we had a poor practice or did not perform well in a game we would run "Perfect Play." In this drill we would basically run offensive plays against air. Similar to who kata are performed on air. And guess what. It really did help us develop precision when applied to the chaos of a football game. In addition we would run plays against blocking shields. Now, running plays against blocking shields does not mimick the same distance as against a real opponent nor does it develop the adjustments that must be made, but it does develop better technique. Once technique is perfected then it is easier to make adjustments. This is the same for kata, classical bunkai, and old style training. The thing is many combat oriented full contact practices be it karate or american football which have been around for more than a century develop similar ways to develop ability to perform with aggression and precision in a high stress situation.
Dulaney Dojo