The NEC is a front for the Fire Insurance Industry.Common sense can easily replace NEC rules. The NEC is nothing more than a front for manufacturers to push their products. I would much rather be in a place that doesn't enforce the NEC.
It's enforced by economics -- not jail cells.
You don't play ball: your stuff doesn't receive a Certificate of Occupancy.
See how many clients you'll have after a few of those are hanging around your neck.
The OP's beef is typical of the Residential Service Call Market.
Things will never change there.
Think what an owner can do to his own property -- and no-one is the wiser.
As for the Fire Insurance Industry calling the shots, look at all of the posts WRT aged wiring: aluminum and K&T. Yes, they ALL turn on what the Fire Insurance Industry wants... or shuns.
Granted, there is corruption of the NEC by way of the NEMA players.
AFCI comes immediately to mind... then handle ties for MWBC... etc.
In the Third World, the Insurance Industry is weak. The results can be seen from street level. Everything is a mess... a farce. And, naturally enough, things keep breaking down... like 'every day' breaking down.
Puerto Rico is a half-way point in this transition: astounding (retail) power theft while nominally adhering to the NEC and using NEMA products.