First of all, Daisuke has been very inconsistent for the quad. He has had trouble nailing his quad because of his knee injuries, which is understandable. It was not easy for him to compete with all those younger skaters with a injured body, and still managed to stay at the top. I agree Dai has always been a fighter and I could see that he has been improving his already superb skating skills through all these years ,but still cannot catch up with Chan. Chan is at a level of his own in terms of skating skills, which is not inborn-- he worked very very hard on the skating basics when he was younger and continued to take the risk to improve. Chan is not a skater that relies on his already huge advantage to win (consistent quad, BEST skating skills, great well-centered fast spins with a nice stretch of the body, high quality jumps, etc) . In 2011 worlds, he certainly didn't need the quad in the SP to win the competition but he fought for it. He could have excluded 3A in the LP and relied on his consistent two 4Ts and won 2012 and 2013 worlds with clean skates. He could have reduced the difficulty of the transitional steps to guarantee successful jumps, and still won. He has done so much more than he had to win the competitions. Chan is NOT a utilitarian. He doesn't just want to win the competitions. He wants to make a statement and push the boundaries of the sport.
His win of 2013 worlds might have been controversial. IMO, the gold medal could go to either him or Denis Ten. It was a close competition anyways and Chan, more or less, benefited from home ice advantage. But based on the current judging system, he deserved the 2012 title. If you look at the protocol for 2012 worlds, Takahashi, with a virtually clean skate, still lost to Chan on the technical side by less than 1 point, who made two mistakes, one fall on the 2A and a doubled 3S. Takahashi's TES was also 3 points lower than Hanyu who also had 1 quad and two 3As in the FS and actually fell on the step sequence. Therefore, even if Takahashi received the same PCS as Chan (even though I personally think that program deserves at most 87+), he still wouldn't be able to win. The thing is, the quality of his jumps are not comparable to either Chan or Hanyu, or even 2011's Kozuka-- GOEs made the difference. In fact, with virtually identical jump base values, the TES of Takahashi's "clean" FS in 2012 was 10 points lower than Kozuka's FS in 2011. 88+ vs 98+. The high PCS for Chan's FS at 2012 is acceptable to me given the quality of that program both technically and artistically. His consistency that season also contributed to it. He delivered two virtually clean skates for that intricate LP at 4CC and nationals prior to worlds. In the end, in figure skating, your score, especially PCS, doesn't depend on one particular performance but your impression on the judges based on past performances as well.
On the artistic side:
I didn't follow men's competitions very closely for the last quad because like many Chan haters here, I was unhappy to see Chan's dominance and I didn't think he deserved the dominance. I didn't even want to look at his programs because I thought they were probably boring. Until recently, as I was finally patient enough to carefully watch his programs, I realized how stunning his programs are. It was true that his "Phantom of Opera" program was boring, and before 2011, he made every program look the same, with similar movements. However, he started to make breakthroughs with "Take-Five" and "Concierto de Aranjuez". I was never patient enough to watch a complete version of "Concierto de Aranjuez" until after last month's Olympics. After watching his performance at 2012 Nationals, I said to myself "this is the true art on the ice". Each movement of that program was perfectly linked to the music, capturing each nuance and each note. His performance was like an "analysis" of the music, to help you understand, in more depth, this guitar concerto masterpiece. I used to like some parts of the music but not all of it. I loved this piece of music much more after watching his performance. I especially love the part of the second half, where the music is quiet with only guitar and he nailed all those triple jumps linked by intricate and elegant movements. It feels like his blades were having a conversation the the guitar, a conversation of lamentation. The ending pose of that program is so damn beautiful!!! There was not a moment wasted in that performance and I just cannot pull my eyes away for even a second. The set-up time of Chan's quads might be a little longer (still shorter than almost anybody else), but the triple jumps all come from nowhere! Elegie SP is another masterpiece. It just melt my heart. It takes your heart to another world.
I can understand why many people don't see Chan's artistry. Because his style is more internal, more quiet and yet more in-depth. I like Daisuke too but they are just different styles. They like to skate to different types of music. The reason why people don't appreciate Chan's art is similar to why most young people don't like classical music, as much as pop/rock music. If we consider Daisuke as a popular novel/play writer, then Chan would be a poet, or an academic person writing academic papers. Of course, most people (including myself in the past) would find it boring because they are not easy to read and comprehend.