It'd be interesting to see if there were any experienced AT dancers who'd tried the ballroom version, and what they thought... I've never tried ballroom tango, I wonder what the experience is like?
I started out with ballroom, and learned the beginnings of ballroom tango before I ever tried AT. I used to really like ballroom tango, now it's just OK. Which isn't to say that I dislike it--it's enjoyable with a good leader, and it has its own feel to it. But, IMHO, it feels sterile, and stilted, and kinda funny. Some things I find downright hilarious, but also really annoying at the same time.
It's like an entire dance where the couple is like, "Look at us! See how passionate we are! Did you see that? Did you see the passion? Wait, I'll do it again. That was so passionate! I love her, I hate her, I love her, i hate her." And what drives me nuts is the idea that that sort of thing comes from AT. When anyone who dances AT knows that, generally, it has nothing to do with showing off, or being passionate, or what have you. It's about expressing the music, and the focus is on your partner and yourself. I guess, the connection and any emotion feels genuine, instead of for show.
It also drives me nuts when ballroom tango is danced to traditional AT tunes that have been ballroom-ized (aka, made hideous). Get your own damn music! Besides, it tweaks my brain to listen to Libertango and take all of the freedom that that music represents and stifle it and stuff it into little 8-count blocks. Drives me nuts.
Not that I have strong opinions on the subject or anything! ;-)