I'm not going to quote your entire post again -- this wouldn't fit if I did -- but I do have the following comments:
Obviously if I think S/P had it by a nose, I disagree with your pre assessments. For one, the list of the categories doesn't quite agree with the list that the ISU published in the Program for the 2003 European Championships:
*Composition and its agreement with the music
*Variation in speed
*Synchronicity of movements and accuracy in tact to the music
*Use of the rink area
*Position and style
*Interpretation of music
I sometimes feel like I am :banging: when discussing the second: speed is not one of the eight components of pre; variation in speed is. And variation in speed is related to synchonicity of movements and accuracy in tact to the music. If the music changes speed, rhythm, and/or character, then there can be variations in speed that reflect the music. The point is not who gets around the rink the fastest, because, again according to the Program, "speed" is a critera for technical merit, as is "synchronicity of movements," as you noted in your critique of the throws and SBS elements. I think B/S's music cut had fewer contrasts in the music and fewer variations in speed in the music itself, while S/P's had more, and their respective programs reflected this. One of the things that makes me scratch my head about using the Nutcracker pas de deux is that the character of the music is the same for about the first 2/3 of the music, where it picks up, and then levels off again. Not much chance to show variations in speed, but, hey, who cares, it's not a criterion any more. Why worry.
"Choreography" is not an element, and even under CoP, more and complex choreography does not necessarily mean a higher choreography score. (Otherwise, anyone with a David Wilson program wins that one right off the bat.) There are skaters for whom more choreography keeps them with the program, literally and figuratively; in my opinion, this was true for Lipinski and Hughes, because it kept them busy and focused. But more choreography doesn't mean that it necessarily "agrees" with the music nor does it mean that the movements are synchronous or an accurate reflection of the music, which were the criteria under 6.0. Stroking can be in agreement and reflect the character of the music as much as steps. (Hughes' huge, powerful stroking and steps in the circular footwork in her Rachmaninov SP in 2003 are a great example of this; are the changes of speed and rhythm that Joubert had in various places in the Matrix program.)
Where you saw facial emoting only in S/P, I saw full-bodied involvement. Where you saw full-bodied involvement in B/S's program, I saw a rather perfunctory response to the music, with the exception of two particularly beautiful elements: the spiral/spread eagle combination and the final position in the pairs spin. (Which for most mortal pairs would have been enough under just about any circumstances, because B/S' equivalent of "counting," most other pairs can't touch.) And I feel that their program was marred by the egregious music cut and the false ending of the music, which, unfortunately, was reflected in the interpretation. I didn't think that B/S's choreography was wedded to the music until the very end, in that I felt I could replace "Meditation" with other pieces in the same classical genre, and nothing would have felt out of place. I didn't think I could replace the music in S/P's program, and I would say that is lucky, since music like "Love Story" isn't really my cup of tea, except for the sentimental value this particular piece had when I was 13.
I think LS was a masterpiece in its genre. Not my favorite genre, and I wish I could have seen a pristine skate to "Meditation," with the proper ending, which is much more effective and appropriate to the rest of the piece and would have avoided the awkward splice.
It's impossible for me to tell "use of rink area" from TV, and while I'm willing to concede that B/S had better "use of rink area" if that really was the assessment of those who saw it live, that's not an automatic concession, because the programs by Lori Nichols I've seen live are the equal in that regard to the programs I've seen by Moskvina live; it's one of Nichols' strengths.
I don't think either program was particularly original. Moskvina had already broken that mold with M/D's programs, which I think, in general, were superior to Meditation. Nothing S/P did could have touched the Chaplin program, particularly if they performed like they did at CoR in the Fall 2001, which I think is the greatest pairs performance I've ever seen.
Position/style and unison were definitely in B/S's court, but interpretation and composition and its agreement with the music were in S/P's, IMO, as was variations in speed. Synchronicity was a wash, IMO. In pre, I think it was pretty much a virtual tie, or that any differences were insignificant.
You are right in that unison is less important in CoP. In the old pre system, unison was supposed to be 1/8 of the pre score for pairs, although how each judge emphasized what category is unknowable. Under CoP, unison is one of nine elements of Performance/Execution, so that it's supposed value is 1/45 of the pre score.