My comments criticizing preproposals that also mention community opinion are just that, opinion. But there is a real study on the issue, reported in BioScience, and blogged about by DEB itself, here. They also in their piece give links that will get you straight to the paper. It is by Leslie Rissler and John Adamec. They do a careful survey and get a lot of insight on what people think. You really should read the paper, but a very general summary is that what people really hate is being able to submit only once a year, not the preproposal itself. I think both have problems, and both happened to address problems. Would you be willing to do the hard work of reviewing if we went back to full proposals a single time a year? What would you think if we counted more what people have produced, as David Hillis has suggested, at least for people with a few years under their belt?
These things are complicated, especially when the funding rates are so low. What to do?