> Phoenix version of a game in 1 arcade then saying they were all regularly used and
> now everyone updated to cleaner versions which aren't in MAME),
Did you check ebay a few years ago? it was almost an epidemic with 'suicide free' being used as a major selling point all over the place. I'd be willing to bet there are more boards out there running the phoenix roms than genuine ones, people will literally killing them to avoid battery death and being able to sell them as boards that won't die on you.
Sure there are cleaner solutions now, but there's an absolute ton of boards out there that are running the phoenix roms, and never going to run anything else, because repairing them properly actually costs money and again means they'll suicide at a later date (which nobody outside of purists wants, they'd rather have potentially buggy phoenix code...)
> multicarts blocked because 1 mamedev thinks it's crappy.
Since multi-carts / pcbs are probably the single biggest selling arcade product of the last 10 years I'm not sure why they'd be blocked. Sure they're crappy, but so are half the Korean games we support, or about 50% of what Atari / Midway made outside of their actual hits. Not emulating them would be misrepresenting the direction in which the arcade scene went.
You should also consider that the MAME rules are more relaxed now since the merge of MESS, if something seems worth documenting it gets documented. Yes, there's a level of subjective judgement that has to be applied there, but it's never unreasonable.
I expect in the next 5-10 years we'll see various test programs added to the drivers too, things that help users diagnose hardware faults and the like, as well as stress test the emulation of various chips, because by supporting them MAME is being useful, and they can be useful in terms of regression testing MAME. Things that are useful are important.
As for Strider, it would have been censored because the market would have rejected it otherwise, I think it's fair to say that the censorship was intended because the developers would actually want their game to reach an audience and be played. Having content that is unsuitable for the target audience would have prevented that, resulted in Strider getting a limited release at best, and we'd probably not be talking about Strider now because nobody would have played / remembered it.