Hi Derek, I tend to agree with you about getting from the "start gate" to the "end gate" with your feet on the pegs. When I first started, the rules were officially "non-stop", meaning that if the front wheel hub ceased to move in a forward direction relative to the direction of the course, then the penalty was a five. This was never interpreted literally. If you could remain stopped while maintaining balance with your feet on the pegs, no penalty was ever assessed. But the instant you dabbed one foot while not moving, then a five was automatic.
With the new FIM non-stop rules, I think that the intent is to even the field between the top handful of riders, and the rest of the international stars. FIM championship trials are suffering these days because there is a very small number of riders who can happily tackle the near-impossible, with nobody to give them any decent competition. I think the FIM is hoping that the new rules will make it possible to have larger fields in the top trials, with more riders able to compete with the top few.
Of course, they could achieve the same thing by making new rules about the bikes. If they stipulated such things as: minimum weight for a bike, maximum ground clearance, minimum seat height, maximum steering lock, etc., then the sections needed for the top riders would become much saner.
The problem in recent years with the "stopping permitted" rules has been the fact that people have been allowed to stop, and then stand there with one foot on the ground -- without being penalized as a failure. I think that it's pretty obvious that once once you stop with a foot firmly planted on the ground, then you've failed to get through the section. That's the reasoning behind the new WTC "five-count" rule, so that people will be penalized for doing just that.
Anyway, it's fun to sit and theorize about what changes to the rules would have the best effect.