For me, and some better players I know, they're tougher to keep down. Hybrids try to get the ball up, and there are times I want to hit a low spinning ball with a 3-iron or a 4-iron or something. Or a low flat ball.
Right; if you’re getting close to 50* descent you don’t have much to worry about with stopping power. Also, course conditions can vary even hole to hole.
Yeah. It doesn’t matter what the club says on the bottom of it in terms of “7i” or whatever. You want clubs that will perform reasonably how you anticipate that it will. With irons we don’t care how far they go; we want them to go whatever distance they go and in your desired trajectory window time and time again reliably.
I don’t have much use for hybrids. For just advancing the ball on a par 5 they’re ok as long as the dead left shot doesn’t sneak in. I can fade an iron shot but it seems pretty hard to slice an iron. Irons allow shotmaking. I rarely hit a full blown “as hard as I can” iron shot.
I have competed in tournament level events in a few things over the years. And I can tell you from experience that plenty of other sports and/or hobbies could use some of what golf has. Whatever the downsides of highly formal rules of behavior, dress, etc, golf gains some serious advantages from its steeped history. Start taking away the clear expectations of gentile behavior and the slope gets slick awfully fast. I am not going to dress like Don Knotts, but I am sure going to uphold any and all traditions. I say it is a net gain.