Re: What happened to classic bass drum tuning?
Well, lots of modern music uses what is basically the same bass drum sound. Plus, EMADs, Powerstroke Pros, and Super-Kicks are easy head to tune- people can just slap 'em on and get a desirable sound with little effort.
I use a Powerstroke 3 as well (which, for the record, is a premuffled head) but the only situation I think I'd use no muffling would be in an unmiced rock situation, sort of like Bonzo's style of music. In my rock band that's basically that with mics, during rehearsal, the kick with no muffling just overpowers pretty much everything, especially the bass frequencies. Porthole or no, I think muffling's a very useful tool but agree that one can get much more versatility from a relatively-lightly-pre-muffled head (powerstroke 3) than a plastic-and-glue-laden head like the EMADs and such.
Edit: I should mention that I think probably the max muffling I'll ever need is the Evans EQ pillow. Generally I like it unported with the pillow slightly touching both heads but for gigs I use a ported head and pull the pillow away from the reso enough to not touch it and muffle the batter a bit more. People that have blankets & stuff their kicks up with like 2 vertical inches of pillows are, to me, grievously misinformed.