Re: More experience as a drummer, less muffling of the kit..what does that tell us?
For me, I think muffling is based more on personal preference (much like tuning), than experience level. Seems like plenty of pros out there use moon gels and or similar methods to muffle their drums.
That being said, I'm totally in the same boat your are, personally. When I first started out back in the 80s, I had (...prepare to laugh) folded up paper towels taped to each drum head on my kit—yikes. My drum teacher had showed me this, and so I thought that's what everyone did and how drums should sound.
Despite how "great" they looked (that's a joke), I ditched the paper towels decades ago. It was only recently (about 5 years ago) that I took off all the plastic rings off my kit and started appreciating how great everything sounds opened up—especially snare drums.
I've also learned how to tune my drums with much more finesse now than before, which is possibly why I'm happy to let everything ring out: Nothing sounds worse than a badly tuned drum, open or closed. But to me, nothing sounds better than a drum not only tuned up, but opened up.