"and you and I both know that accurate ranging isn't hard once you learn to bracket ...."
True, not that hard once you learn (with lots of practice), but it's still a skill that is more difficult to master when compared to the simpler focus range finding.
I think the top shooters get to a point where they realize that a 20fpe piston gun is harder to shoot and will not help their score.
14fpe is near the high end for most piston shooters. An 8.44gr pellet will have virtually the same drift at 12fpe as at 14fpe.
If you go to a heavier pellet and launch it a lot faster (900fps), then you will have some ballistic advantage. But it won't pan out with a piston gun with regards to ease.
Less wind drift is good but how much moa are you willing to sacrafice in order to achieve it?
Sorry, Hunter/piston is harder to hit the target.
Maybe if you have a 19fpe recoil-less Whiscombe or a Diana 54/56 shot from a prone/bibod, then you have a ballistic advantage and still OK accuracy. But you and I both know how physically demanding that combination can be. Easier? - No.
You are right about too many classes. First thing we should do is combine all the piston classes at AAFTA matches.
Why have the WFTF/Piston class and also the Hunter/Piston class? We don't have separate Hunter/Lady classes and WFTF/Lady classes.
8 instead of 11. Could be better, but that's a start