Frankly, I do not see the constant comparison to an older sister other than in KnC and trying to loosen up his nerves while on ice waiting for their names to be called. They had quite a few programs, particluary exhibitions that were quite touching and definitely gave you goose bumps, and that definitely did not make you think brother and sister. They did not have the romantic connection ala V/M, but I would put them with a similar connection to P/B, D/S, B/S to mention a few, a connection that is of mutual respect, friendship and liking. These latter are not romantic connections, and why should that be the standard that everyone has to meet anyway.
The exhibition from last year that they did at the COS Margaret Garrison show was light, fun filled and did reach the audience. They had standing Os along the way so I am not sure how you can say they did not reach the audience. There certainly was much competition with W/P in the last couple of years and it created a very strong us/them feeling with lots of rancor amongst some fans., but that was not W/P or C/P fault. As well, their programs were not as overtly in your face as W/P, so in comparison they may not have reached the audience the same way. And definitely in the last few months of their partnership there was something going on that showed on the ice, but that should not label their entire career together.
Paul growing up, yes somewhat, and that must add insult to injury For Vanessa, as it is something she saw in other partnerships (W/P perhaps) and wanted in hers and, from all accounts, found with Keiffer. Plus Paul is adding more to this performance now than just skating. But this should have been added by him to his partnership with Crone.
Gilles and Paul were given quirky music, quirky programs hiding deficiencies, quirky costumes, an inordinate amount of PR and politicking, plus there has been an underlying sentiment created that he was left stranded to his own devices after the partnership broke up , implying she walked away. Given their strengths, I bet C/P could have done something great if they had been given quirky and fun.