This isn't about "customers who dislike big black bars." This is about how this film was shown on its original engagement. I'm for both versions and will be watching both happily if given the opportunity. Whatever Mr. Stevens, Jr. has done, I'm sure it's minor tweaks up and down, just like every home video transfer in any widescreen ratio forever.
Yes, it is.
For lots of people it is.
Regular folk just want their expensive 16x9 screen totally filled with image. General audiences don't know and don't care about film history, about aspect ratios, about the artists' original intentions. They want entertainment that looks great on their TV. I don't want to sound patronising; it's just reality.
This is a very particular subject which is important for hardcore cinephiles, film historians, film critics, collectors and such. Just because this particular web forum is paying utmost attention to the debate doesn't mean buyers out there are obsessing about it, too.