I lived in Maryland when Paul got started. (Turned down an offer to buy a prototype for $600. Who knew??) When they started catching on, to me the birds were a lot of fun and were his "thing" so I always liked them. Anyone can have dots. Bring on the birds!
FWIW, I also like that I can see more prominent position markers better on a dark stage. Which begs the question of why my fav strat has no markers...
I recently traded into a McCarty with moons, and REALLY wish what the OP wrote wasn't true. The moons are so much more classy and subtle.
The birds are pretentious, and I'd have to embarrassingly confess that for the longest time I thought the birds at the higher fret markers were squished from flying into the ground. Only recently did I see they're supposed to be looked at while the fretboard is level, not the way they look when they're hanging on the wall.
(And yeah, I have 4 other PRS guitars with birds, so it didn't stop me from buying them.)
When I bought my PRS in '86, no one I knew had even heard of them before, myself included. I walked into Chuck Levin's looking at Gibsons and left with the PRS because it won me over the old-fashioned way. I remember not liking the birds at the time, thinking I didn't need one more reason to miss the 12th fret 1 AM in the morning in the 3rd set after 5 beers!
They still offer moons (well, dots) on the Mira and Starla. I miss my Mira dearly. I don't remember why I sold it other than to finance round trip airfare to Florida for my Grandfather's funeral. I'm sure I could have come up with few hundred $$ some other way.