MHP had a simailr poll like this recently and all but 3 of the 70-odd votes went the correct way- to the pillarboxing 4:3.
That is all very well, but 16:9 pillarboxing can cause just as many complaints as well as a lot of confusion, especially as it often appears 'postage stamped' on air
If it's done correctly, there's nothing wrong with a 14:9 pillarbox as long as the person ARCing the material takes note of any shots that don't work that way and it isn't just done as a blanket job. I ARC
4:3 material (news archive and non-BBC material) to 16:9 on a daily basis and it is rare that I find something that absolutely can't be done in 14:9 - so little is lost at the top and bottom and theres rarely anything very important in those sections of screen. If it is I'll wander downstairs and flip the arc over, I'll only use 16:9 cut out for material that is letterboxed.... thus chopping off the letterboxing