Two things. This is no longer (and probably never was) a "MOD Requests" topic, and as such will be moved to phpBB Discussion.
Second, discussion is (of course) allowed. But the fact is that the phpBB Group has a policy, that policy has not changed, and I personally have no indication that it will
change in the future. So feel free to voice your opinions backed up with whatever supporting arguments that you like. But the odds of anyone coming up with an argument that has not been presented in the past four years are probably slim.
Here's my personal opinion, for what it's worth. I don't want all those extra features in my board. I selected phpBB precisely for what it is, a good solid core with a very active and enthusiastic MODder community. You (a generic "you" not anyone specific in this topic) want a calendar with birthdays and events, I think that's silly. I want the ability to attach files (with image thumbnails) the next person doesn't. They want sub-forums, someone else wants the ability to spend forum "cash" and spend it in a "shop", the person in line after them doesn't even want more than one forum and wants everything to be displayed on one page.
All of these people can get what they want from phpBB. Granted they have a bit of work to do, but it's doable.
I do not
subscribe to a "pre-modded" philosophy. Why? Because it's not ... natural.
In the admittedly cursory review I have done of various pre-modded boards none of them have struck me as being a "better" phpbb than phpbb itself.
Keeping phpBB up to date is one challenge. Keeping phpBB up to date with 20, 30, 50...
MODs installed is another.
Finally, it goes back to a matter of choice. When the author's of pre-modded boards make decisions to include / exclude certain MODs, they're not asking me. So once again there will be features that I do not want that are cluttering up the board, adding extra query overhead, and generally making things worse. I prefer to start with the phpbb core and build up with the features I want.
And by doing that, I can customize each board to each specific site. I have a number of phpBB boards installed, and not a single one of them is like any other. Each one has its own different custom features.
Yes, there are a few MODs that I apply to every board. (Hiding inactive members on the memberlist is one, for example.) Would it make my life easier if those MODs were included in the phpbb core? Sure, but would it make someone else's life more difficult? Possibly.
As I started out saying, you can come out "for" or "against" the policy, and there's room for discussion, but I doubt that the policy will change.
As stated, moving to phpBB Discussion from MOD Requests.