Speaking as one of those higher-rated players, I have always had mixed feelings about the bye. The problem is, if I enter a tourney of 4 rounds, say, and have a bye to the second round, I can make the finals, lose there, and actually LOSE rating points off my 2-1 record. If I played all 4 rounds, and lost in finals, my rating would stay about the same.
It has always seemed to me that the higher-rated player is actually penalized, ratings-wise, by playing fewer rounds. Not only that, but hanging around waiting to play a match can be a real pain. In a longer-rounds tourney, the wait can be substantial, and that's a time frame in which I'd rather be playing than doing nothing.
On the other hand, of course, that's one less round to WIN, to get a tourney win.
Finally, a major beef by many has been that they play the same players over and over again, because their ratings seed them thatw ay.
For this reason, there has always been a vocal group who have asked for random seeds, so that there is more variety in their play. I really don't see where there's a downside on this, in the end we all have to play and win, in order to get the victory. I'm happy to see both formats available.