Lot of people I hear using these tapes sound like they had their 'nads removed.
I agree, however it's that type of audio that breaks through pile ups. I've heard Dxpedition ops thank others for running narrow audio.
I would say 75% of the big contest stations use recorders during contests. Especially, in the countries where English is not often spoken. It's common to hear DX stations using the recorder to make the basic exchange in English. However, the operator then struggles to use English for any fills.