They do make a big difference in the cold. The lens is much easier to handle with the neoprene coat on it. No debate on my part as to the virtues of the product. And the only frustration I've ever run into regarding access to controls etc, is visibility of the white markings to align the lens collar. And yes, I've shot with several pros who use them and some who don't. I suspect many pros have been shooting since long before they were available and are simply slow to change without a compelling reason.I wasn't a big believer but have to admit that the LensCoats do keep the lenses much cooler in the summer. The black would soak up the sun and get almost too hot to touch which I don't think is very good for the stuff inside. The coats have reduced that dramatically.
Like many threads simple questions turn into philosophical discussions . I just thought that considering they sell for probably 25 times the manufacturing cost maybe there was someone that I hadn't heard of in the market that was willing to settle for a bit lower margins. In the mean time, unless I can convince my bride to learn to sew neoprene I'll just pay what the market prices them at.