I think it is a very interesting discussing the pro and cons of LA reels as opposed to conventional non LA reels. The original reason for the LA reels was to protect the finest tippets from the start up inertia which could be a parameter to be reckoned with when fishing the smallest of dry flies and ultra thin tippets on conventional reels.
Speed of retrieval was later used as a selling point when fishing for the true speedsters like YFT (yellow fin tuna) etc in the salt, where you often need to be able to crank some line on the reel very fast. For this the diameter of the reel really need to be very large, IMO at least around 5’ to really be felt, especially if you also need to have the backing required to battle these speedsters. Reels in that size will inevitable be heavy, unless you have them made out of exotic material like titanium, which requires very expensive tools in the manufacturing process and cost almost as much as gold, leading to exorbitant price tags or, when not using exotic materials, the need to limit the weight often leads to structural stressed designs with extremely ported spools and frames exposing the finer mechanical parts to the elements, with all the implications of diminished strength and durability.
I have a Hardy Zane that I like because it balances some of my rods really well and have a very fine brake, however the bearings used on this SW reel is very exposed and sooner or later you will have to change the bearings from the original to a better quality encapsulated SKF bearings, no matter how carefully you rinse the reel after use.
Very few have addressed this problem with elegance, the most prominent being the late Jack Charlton with his 8450 C and 8550 C series with different sizes of spools to the same reel frame with ultra smooth and powerful brakes capable of stopping anything from a 1 lbs trout caught on very fine tippets all the way to YFT.
For average Salmon/Steelhead fishing I have never felt the need for anything other than moderately sized 3’ – 4’ conventional arbor reels which can be very difficult to find in good quality if you want a modern reel. I think one of the reasons that old Hardy reels are so treasured is the lack of contemporary non custom conventional non LA reels of good quality at an affordable prize.
Personally I make do with old Hardy reels, Saracione, Charlton and the Tibor reels like the Billy Pate and Tibor series, the latter with very moderate LA and a very fine balance between overall quality, LA configuration, weight and size. But I do think there is a general lack of non custom contemporary moderately priced conventional arbor reels.