RR, yes, there are plenty of hoods out west. And gear on a route does get stolen at other crags at which I've climbed; in Utah, Texas, Kentucky, everywhere. The difference is that at all those places, if your gear gets yanked, locals will say "wow, that sucks, those assholes." Not so at the Gunks, as I've gathered.
And, you all may want to educate yourself on the difference between "Style" and "Ethics." This whole thing is more a stylistic than an ethical matter. But that's an entirely different direction.
Oh, and has anyone actually taken time away from the internet and gone up to remove those fixed nuts that have so sullied the purity of Kansas City?