You have just hit a ball out of bounds or you decide to take the option for a ball in a water hazard where you re-play from the spot at which you previously played. Do you drop your ball 1/4 inch behind the divot hole or repaired divot hole regardless of the condition of the turf around that spot? Do you drop 6 inches away from the exact spot where the turf might be a bit better? If you hit the shot fat, do you drop on the divot hole or repaired divot hole?
The idea of dropping "as near as possible" is a pretty restrictive instruction. I am sort of surprised that the Rules writers did not allow some leeway for these types of drops. One gets a club length for unusual ground conditions. Two club lengths as one of the options for a lateral hazard. In almost every drop scenario 1-2 club lengths are allowed.
Let's face it, when a divot is taken, it is pretty easy to know the exact spot a ball occupied. I doubt anyone expects someone who hit a fat shot to drop the next ball in the divot hole or repaired divot hole.
If the idea of "as near as possible" is so important, then why not have the player place his ball on the spot. Instead one drops it and the ball may roll up to 8 feet away. That is hardly playing from "as near as possible" to the spot where the previous shot was taken. The vagueness of some Rules provisions seems to invite different approaches to the same situation. The USGA/R&A might want to think about adding "within a club length" to the "as near as possible" provision. Of course sometimes that club length will allow one to escape long rough or get away from a tree. Still, the player already got hit with a stroke & distance penalty so why not give him/her a little wiggle room for that next attempt?
Personally, I have always dropped my ball close to the spot (a foot, maybe two?) but never attempted to get it to hit within an inch of the original spot. Good thing my play isn't televised!
What does everyone else do?