Well, it strikes me that you and Tony don't really disagree very much then, but I'll let him speak for himself. I'd actually be very interested to hear him address some of the points raised here..
Interestingly enough, one doesn't have to be fully opposed to another in order to disagree on a few things. In fact it might be a simple point of talking about the same thing but using different terms. That happens quite frequently, when two or more people have differing levels of expertice.
remember, Tony said he disagreed with me, and I said I would like to debate it.
side bar to Tony (didn't we get introduced over this same type of subject when I first joined, and everyone immediately went to the "Tony knows all" post to quiet me ? lol .. not that there isn't some validity in your position of knowledge)
One further note, though - there are no few swords remaining from the Sengoku period that are really banged up, with cracks and knotches in the ha, mune, and shinogi. And these are the swords that were saved. Who knows how many were destroyed/abandoned/melted down. While the ideals of Japanese swordsman ship were redirect and cut, I have the feeling that in the heat of battle there was a lot of clashing and banging together going on.
It also might be that the only swords kept were the ones not damaged and all the damaged ones were melted down/destroyed. Of course history is clouded with stories and legend based around just that type of thing. Since there isn't a "step by step" process followed and a guideline drawn up, it's hard to say what really did happen.