Well, I'm not going to say that one method is more elegant than the other, or that one is more intuitive. Perhaps for the newly initiated, the ascending method is easier to grasp. Maybe it is a breath of fresh air for some older players, too.
When we tried some 3e and even C&C in the early 2000's, it took me some time to grasp this newer, "easier" method, but I don't think even then it was the first time I'd heard of it. I swear there was a Dragon article or some other magazine article that championed the method. I digress. Part of the reason I came to disfavor the method is somewhat related to geometry.
3e/C&C looks like this:
0e/1e/2e/BASIC look this
Infinte vs. finite. In 3e/C&C, when the PCs start to reach 8th, 9th, 10th level or so, you can have a character whose bonuses come out to +16, but they need to hit an AC 34 monster. There are only 20 sides to a 20-sided die, and the roll required is still 18, 19, or 20 in this situation (or 15% chance-to-hit). It keeps growing and growing, and to me (this is strictly IMO) it becomes preposterous. I prefer a tight, finite scale of 10 (worst) to -10 (best) or 9 (worst) to -9 (best) in which you generally are not going to see a lot of AC scores that are better than 0, the benchmark for "tough to hit". A game in which a +3 sword is one of the most powerful weapons a fighter can aquire. I just like it that way!
Which brings me to a more important point -- AS&SH was never designed to accomodate specifc trends or methods that may or may not be more mathematically sound. It has no universal mechanic, no overarching concept or theory behind its various conventions. It is, by intent, a complete exercise in self-indulgence. I made a game that I would enjoy playing my drinking buddies and, by extension, like-minded gamers that I meet at cons and other places. Sure, there were a great group of fellows who contributed ideas and opinions -- a closed group (not a public, open playtest) of fellows who offered some of their candid thoughts, and some of them are among us in this forum. And then Dave Prata combed through the whole of it and ripped apart my errors and contradictions with machine-like precision. But at the end of the day, if any of AS&SH's conventions are clunky or unwieldy, and maybe not as elegant as some modern ideas, I can accept that. But I would also encourage any referee to adjust or house-rule as desired.
Heck, my way is not going to be the RIGHT way -- not by any stretch -- but I can say with confidence that I cobbled together a game and setting that I keep wanting to play with my buddies, so that to me is reward enough. It's been an honor and a pleasure to have recieved award nominations for the game and positive reviews, because I never expected that. So, going forward, I plan to keep on keeping on, and maybe more folks will check it out, if it is to their tastes.
Lastly, my apologies for the soap box-like post.