Re: More experience as a drummer, less muffling of the kit..what does that tell us?
Here is the timeline for popular drum sounds:
Up to the 60's: few plies, mixed woods, a lot of fat, resonant, warm sound
70's/early 80's: Dead, thuddy minimal resonance (except for Bonzo) Hydraulic heads, heads taped to death, single head drums etc...
Mid 80's-present- market splits. trends of more resonant shells, and also shells that have a big attack. Very few thuddy sounding kits anymore. A demand for a "More sophisticated/whole" tone from drums.
Generally, drums that don't resonate well are not as widely accepted anymore. Drummers have become very musically aware of the sound of thier kits (much the domain of Jazz drummers in the past) and maximum resonance with some overtone control is the new standard. Sustain is one of DW's big selling points.
Since I lived through the changes, I can say that my taste definately leans toward the original "full" tone with sustain and minimal overtones.
Illustrating the "now": a very inexpensive Gretsch Catalina club outfitted with coated G1's really had a tone reminiscent of the 60's. It was a far cry from entry kits just a few years ago (and some now) that just thud, or have this attack but no presence.