Hi Jason - it sounds as if there is a genuine difference in opinion among zwifters on this issue.
Just as in “real” cycling, climbers are a different breed from sprinters and rouleurs, not just physically but also in terms of psychology and personality. For me, a long climb at maximum sustainable power isn’t monotonous but rather a massive buzz as it allows me to push my limits in a way I can’t do on the flat (and it’s a tribute to virtual cycling that this seems to be true for a simulated climb as much as for a real one). When I’m climbing on Zwift I’m in and out of the saddle in exactly the same way I am on a real climb, something that just doesn’t happen in an FTP session on the flat.
Years before Zwift came along I was climbing virtually with Tacx’s simulations of real climbs that use video footage. There’s no substitute IMO for a continuous 40 minute climb for motivation and training benefit. I still use the Tacx software now and again because Zwift doesn’t yet have any comparable routes to Sa Colobra or Colma di Sormano, but it would just be brilliant this could be rectified and I could do all of my indoor training on Zwift.
I know from experience that simulated climbing is excellent training for real climbing, and like many people I live somewhere I don’t have access to long climbs on my doorstep, so virtual climbs are the best way to prepare for trips abroad.
While it may be the case that the majority of zwifters aren’t into long climbs, for those that are it’s really, really important (hence why the issue keeps coming up). I think the developers should bear this in mind and cater also for this substantial and dedicated minority when designing routes rather than succumb entirely to the tyranny of the majority.