I can see that for superficial reasons, people do want centers, but unless they listen to a lot of multichannel music, I don't think they're worth it.
I know I took my "matching center channel", and then packed it up and put it in a box. It doesn't matter if i'm sitting way off axis from the TV or right on-axis... phantom center just sounds better to my ears in my room with my speakers. Whether that's watching movies, or sports, i just never felt like i was hearing "reproduction" with a center in place.
If I had a room for a true multichannel music setup (three matching speakers up front, spread apart widely with plenty of space to the sides) I'd try out a center channel again. But I'll never again let matching center channels be a deciding factor in any purchase I make. It's an aesthetic consideration IMO, rather than one based on SQ.