Originally Posted by Auger
You know, I was just thinking about this again. I think all the previouly said stuff is probably most of the reason for this, but also I suspect it has something to do with playing ability as well. Until you develop a touch on the drums and a certain amount of technique, it can be hard to feel 'in control' when you've got these singing, ringy drums. You tend to want to pull in the reigns and make things tamer/easier to handle. Then, once you get some command of the instrument, you find you can actually use that tone.
This is right on the nose. It takes a certain degree of control to be able to play single-ply heads tuned wide-open without sounding bad. Thicker heads disguise whether you can play or not, to a degree. That's not to say that anybody using thicker heads can't play, but there's more ability to vary the tone the drum produces with thinner heads and less muffling. So if more experienced drummers use thinner heads it's probably because they can get a wider range of tones from drums with that set-up.