JDI, I do have to agree that sometimes your opinions can be kinda rude...maybe you don't mean it that way...but since this is the internet anything can be taken the wrong way.
If the only thing that will wow you is seeing a horse properly collected, and working off the bit, then, no offense, I'm glad I'm not you. I am wowed by many things...even if it's just something "silly". It's being human.
A halter WILL give you less control than in a bit. I can definitely make Sonny stop on a dime and do all these quick turns in a bit...that we have not achieved yet in a halter...but would it honestly be more impressive doing all that stuff in a bit or a halter? Everything takes time...even a horse learning to properly engage itself doesn't just happen over night. The horse has to learn to properly balance itself. They CAN and WILL learn how to balance themselves without reins.
Getting off topic.....
Anyways, whether or not someone riding in a halter wows you, it does teach the horse to listen to more subtle cues, and in turn have more attention on you.
Some people like to be as gentle as possible to their horses...bits are just metal things in their mouths....it's still there, it's still metal even if it's sweet iron. They like the taste...but take away the taste, will they still like it? Personally I'd rather have a great horse that rides well in a halter and one that won't accept the bit than one that will only listen to the bit and nothing else