this is (for me and maybe "many" others) not true, i like 32bpp ... maybe the "style" can be "pixel art" in 32bpp too ... but my main problem with the (very good looking) 32bpp gfx is simple ...
Not ONE of the big additions that are available support it ... a list of additional NewGRF that i use, and i dont will miss on OTTD :
With the mixed view you get, with 32bpp basic gfx, and the standard 8bpp from this NewGRF sets, its look bad ..
So i get better straight at 8bpp and it looks not so nice - but "consistent" ....
That is just how it will be if 32bpp/EZ is to be available. When it was not, obviously 8bpp/x1 zoom set a clear standard which made everything consistent by force.
While there is nothing to do about that, I think good newGRFs fit together even if they have less pixels or less colours. If contrast / general visual appearance fits, it generally is fine.
For example, I think YETI fits the best with the original ttd graphics, simply because I consider them the best, and therefore YETI is callibrated to look similar. Now, even though there is a lot less pixels and a lot less colours, I still feel like it is alright together.
I personally believe that the 32bpp/EZ part of newGRFs will only continue to grow, to the point where there will be a good choice of newGRFs to use. Whether they will be able to replace 8bpp is in my opinion only a matter of quality.
What I think is good constructive conclusion to your post is that it is best to have newGRFs which can have both - for example I am not enhancing NUTS with 32bpp/EZ sprites - BUT it already has all of them hand-drawn pixel art 8bpp sprites, too - so if the player just switches the blitter from 32bpp to 8bpp, they can force 8bpp sprites and never see 32bpp if they dont want to. Consistency!
... YETI also has 8bpp/x1 sprites, but since they are just converted from 32bpp/x4, they look a lot different than hand-drawn pixel art