They really do work well and are a godsend for new riders; they make the learning process so much easier especially when teaching them one foot fade turns. I have started carrying a small roll of carpet tape and will stick a small stip on the board for the newbies who are struggling with this problem......
Just to get back on-topic, I've never used a stomp pad, and don't like them. I don't like they way they look on my board, and I don't see the need for them. From my earliest days riding, speaking of not wanting to look stupid (said the Teletubby), I concentrated like crazy on NOT falling getting off the lift. That was one of the biggest "skills" I was concerned about! LOL. Just push the back foot against the binding. It took a season of practice, but soon enough I could ride to the next lift connection or take-off point without having to strap in for 50 yards, or whatever. I've just never felt the need.
I also don't understand the controversy, though. I don't use the same bindings as everyone else, I don't wear the same jacket as everyone else, I don't ride the same board as everyone else...but apparently I use the same camera as a lot of people! Oh well. I just go out to enjoy myself, and unlike Torpedo, I'm not getting all jacked up about how I LOOK. I'm just out to ride.