Daron you are right about opinions.
CAD stanadrds are about what is written for that company, and opinions have nothing to do with it, you should do what your are told, and stick what the manual says.
We have cad forums once a year where we all discuss CAD and the standards and agree ways forward, this is where our opinions come out, and stay. Once the standards are agreed that's it you work to them.
as for layer 0 & bylayer, there are good reason to things this way. the rules obviously can be bent for special occations, i.e don't make a layer for a single line that is maybe a different linetype. And layer 0 is there for a purpose to make blocks on layer 0, so when you insert them, they take the properties of the layer you inserted them on.
Ive lost count of the amount of drawings I have worked on where everything is on layer 0 and the properties have been changed. This is why these kind of rules are set up.
I have been in CAD for 16 years, and I have now wrote 4 CAD manauls for most disciplines of engineering. In that time I have learned that there is usually 3 or 4 ways of doing something in CAD, and all work, and all are correct, you just have to us ethe 1 that suits your or your company best.