I also have not ever used "smartmatch" and friends. I have never encountered it in code I've worked on at various employers,
I think you're trying to prove they're not a desired features, but it's far more likely that you've worked a companies that sensibly avoid using experimental (unstable) features in production code.
It's because of the incredible confusion and instability around the "features,"
There's no confusion; smartmatching is an experimental feature, not a stable feature. This will still be the case in 5.28. Continue not using it unless you want to be a beta tester.
I am alarmed at the process with which the changes have been already merged into bleadperl
Aye, there were problems, which were resolved by the creation of the policy and ability to make new features experimental.