I've seen the arguments and most boil down to "I want it the first way I saw it". They'll even throw in a red herring like "director's framing" or "artist's vision" for justification. But once you hear the actual artist/director say "I planned for it" or even "I wanted, but couldn't, do it back then", those arguments just melt away.
Those same arguments were trumpted against colorization, and were wrong then, too. Ray Harryhausen, who filmed his early films in B&W, was pleased at, and participated in, their colorizings because he would've filmed in color if he had the budgets. That is the true artistic intent.
Our movies and TV are mediums to bring the fantasy to us. And the more real they are -- whether by coloring that fills up our spectrum of vision, or by a wide aspect ratio that fills in our field of vision -- the more we perceive them in a greater reality.
As Travis (and others) have stated (and re-stated), it doesn't boil down to "I want it the first way I saw it." It is that the product should be reproduced the way it was created. It is not a red herring to say that a 1960s TV show was composed in a 4:3 format. Rather, it is a fact.
If you were to hear a director say (and I haven't seen a lot of documented instances of this) "I wanted, but couldn't do it back then."...it rather proves the point contrary to yours. The nature of the medium was such that the programs were composed and filmed in a 4:3 environment. To change that now--merely because some enthusiasts believe that filling their widescreen TVs makes it more "real" for them would be an offense to their art--not any different from when films, composed for wide movie screens used to be chopped for presentation on 4:3 TV screens.
"Spaced" (I wish you would list a real first name as is required by the forum rules): I understand your desire to have older TV programs presented in a way that you prefer. But it is your arguments that fall as subjective to your moods and emotions. It is because you want to fill your widescreen TVs with older material that you believe you can create an argument to do so.
From the HTF Mission statement:
We the members of the forum are interested in the film product to be recorded and reproduced as closely as possible to the way the original creator(s) of that particular film intended.
Intent is an integral part of these debates here. We have had enough discussions about directors such as Harryhausen, Kubrick, Bertolucci and others to fill a book. There have been unclear sentiments, conflicting reports, statements by them which are radically interpreted by different individuals to support diametrically-opposed arguments, etc. An artist's intent is not always easy to quantify, understand, prove, validate--even by themselves.
But what we have is their work. And the most sure-fire way to assure that their product is being reproduced in the most accurate way possible is to consider how it was (in the context of TV programming) originally broadcast. And there really shouldn't be anything wrong with that.
There are going to be those few exceptions as the industry was transforming from a 4:3 standard to a 16:9 standard, but for those programs which aired when 4:3 was the clear industry standard...THAT is the way they should be reproduced for viewing today.