As a racer
for the last 5 years I find polars useful. To me one must have a baseline.
If a boat is not hitting polars it could be bad sailing or bad rig, excessive loading and in remote
cases a bad polar. I found a rig issue in my boat when hitting speed on one tack vs. another.
Without a beseline you dont know where to start looking or even if you should look. If you can explain performance shortfall based on boat load or some other factor than the polar serves its purpose.
There is no other way to set a baseline than with an empty boat. This is the only way one can compare between two boats of the same type as equipment
loading will be different.
The other use of a polar is the shape which indicates where you might look for best vmg.
I keep a blank polar plot on board. When I am racing
and have time I mark my boat speed and wind
speeds. Sort of my own polar. The information is useful to me to see if the boat is changing. Boat load is pretty consistent and the biggest variation is bottom cleanlines (go figure...)
You seem to hate polars and I have said what I think so vive la differance...
My only advice is that when you are getting smoked by a boat of the same type you may want to go back to basics for troubleshooting and basics includes performance plots.
And final couple of questions - Are polars given in true or apparent wind
speeds and angles? Did the rep know and did he know the difference? Were you reading true or apparent on the wind guages? I would expect a rep to know, especially if he is selling boats but it would not surprise me in the least that the "marketing & sales" guys are not familiar.