I definitely lean more towards the practical usage side as a teacher and practitioner. My thought is that if we want to practice forms as meditative forms of gentle exercise, I would suggest delving into yoga or possibly tai chi chuan instead. Why? Because these forms have certain manipulative health benefits through activating the chakras and meridian points.
I did do yoga, Bikram or Hot Yoga. I really enjoyed it. I should start that up again.
In contrast, the karate kata were always more about transmitting information about how to damage another person's body instead, and I would suspect likewise the recently created TKD patterns are not intended to help physically heal and rejuvenate either.
I disagree. I think forms, or any other aspect of the martial arts is what you want it to be.
As for fighting applications with forms, this is why I currently study and teach Okinawan karate as my primary art. I intentionally sought out an art and teacher that has meaningful knowledge transmitted through the kata. It's one of my goals to reintegrate some of this information back into the syllabus I teach my tae kwon do students. This is not meant to be a dig at TKD in any way. Each style has its own pluses and minuses, and on balance, IMO forms are one of the avenues in which TKD can grow.
I'm not into that. I have Hapkido for my self defense needs. I rather just practice the defenses directly.