I might have missed it, but what’s the compelling reason to use it? The difference in perceived quality between 128 & 192 Kbps is negligible (you used those values in the post.) I live in a developing nation (Thailand) and can tell you that for all SE Asian developing nations, there is no bandwidth constraint for listeners (you cited smaller file sizes).
So… why use it at all? Rob’s exasperation is understandable (and he can get surly, which I identify with) and Todd probably ignored the response: They’ve fended off others with a Quixotic fascination of the topic before.
I like new (or in this case old) ideas that might find traction in the future. But I’m missing the key benefit here, unless marginally better audio and potentially slight reductions in file size are the reasons why you’re waving the “just give VBR a chance” flag.
(And I followed you on Medium. I like contrarian views!)