Great additional background from tahunua001!
While technically not correct, the 1917 Enfield does capture the provenance of the gun. I lean in the direction of the more wide spread the knowledge, even if not technically right, the better off the guns are for being preserved.
And if not for Enfield and their 1914 out source to the US, where would we have been in WWI for rifles? Funny to think they came out with a better rifle for a modern cartridge and never actually manufactured it (and changed it to 303 and then kept the 303 in the SMLE). The rifle could easily have evolved (and did with Remington Sport version) into a lighter rifle that would have rivaled the 1903 with better sights.
And it was so readily adaptabile to the 30-06 cartridge when needed.
Also the gauges for 1903 bore wear and erosion are pretty close (some correction needed on some) that you can readily determine the muzzle condition as well as the throat erosion (a note of caution, my brother picked up a 1903 that the muzzle was great, the throat eroded half way down the barrel because they used blanks in it - ok at its a wall hanger for its historical value, but a shame as we do like to shoot them)
I did read some of the diary of Sgt York and it seems to indicate he had a 1917. He was not the most literate man and it was somewhat fuzzy. I think the evidence was that he did have a 1917 and I suspect the rear sight would have enabled him to shoot better. I am satisfied but I respect others feel its uncertain.
I understand the theoretical aspects of the cock on close and I believe if you train on it you can get proficient (particularly if its your original training). It just is not intuitive which I think the cock on open is and I suspect far more people get to a higher degree of proficiency with that than the cock on close.
And like most things theoretical there is probably so many other factors going on that it gets lost on the noise and is a moot.
Its still darned interesting.
As for the buba part. I feel at this time and point (maybe until the last 10 years) it was understandable. A shame, but understandable.
The action cost peanuts and its probably the strongest action ever made and you could do anything you wanted with it. Gun smith work was relatively cheap and away they went. Cut it down, remove the ears, shorten, sand or replace the stock and at the heart was still a fine hunting gun.
Now they need to be preserved. 2 million of them (1917 roughly) and so few left in some degree of original condition.
What my brother and I found interesting was his Winchester was immediately recognized by 4 people and they did not care it had a sanded stock.
We both prefer not necessarily an original stock, but one that is period correct with the wear, dings and cartouches. Long term its worth more money, but a shooter that's decent would sell quickly to those who just want to shoot them.
Then you have the $1000 plus collectors that you are probably not going to shoot much if at all.