its gotten to the point now where original, creative bboys are looked up to more so than they were before. its like the argument of free will - if you are good, that means you are extra good, but u have the choice of being bad. if you are a creative bboy, its extra points because you fought the temptation of being of biting. because as you say, everyone is clones of each other, the ones who arent are heros. the clones are just followers of their heros.
whether one says battles have become boring is a matter of one's own opinion. i think the way forward is to battle more worldwide. it's becoming easier as transport becomes cheaper, safer and easier. i find international battles very interesting, for examples, uk champs, freestyle session, the load of recent small battles in france. i personally would love to travel more with my crew and battle more in other countries. you said bboys had fun back in the day when you guys were training, and creating your own style. bboys still have fun! thats why everyone is still doing it right?
i say bboying is evolving to a much more stricter form of dance. a univeral 'style' or basic 'style' is growing. thats the way its gotta go. i know many people will disagree with this, but it cant stay underground and changing forever. we already have this thing called 'foundations' and as the rules of these foundations grow, it means bboying is taking a stronger root. bboying is so young and so there's no way to tell whether bboying will stick around forever. bboying will survive by becoming a more structured dance, its inevitable. i dont think it'll happen in our generation or even our lifetimes, but it will happen unless it disappears completely. the 'clone' style as you've put it, is from bboys who are young or arnt destined to become great bboys. they are just doing the basic and not exploring the dance itself. they will not change bboying but they are the mass of people who do bboy, because they do the basic. im sure it was much more interesting when towns and districts had their own styles, but it just shows how young bboying was then and you're looking at the picture too small. you were watching bboying expanding and growing. although bboying is still growing and evolving, its reached a certain maturity because of the sudden fashion trend and because now the whole world has contributed to its growth.
maybe it IS time for bboying to go back in time a bit. maybe bboying has grown too quickly in the last 5 years. maybe its time to go back to the roots and and taking things back before moving on again. someone i know said that bboying will be out of fashion again within the next 5 years. maybe thats the time when we can start to control the bboying world again and take things back to teach the everyone what bboyin really is and was. but it will be very difficult while bboyin is still at the peak of fashion and while all the bboys are spread all over the world. time will tell whether bboyings evolving in the right way.
im not trying to justify people who bite. biting is bad. most bboys and people know this. im just trying to explain why it seems to evident, and why its seems a big enough problem for a discussion to be held about this. its just a natural tempatation and the people who do bite are the ones who succumb to the temptation. the real heros in the bboy world and this life, are the ones who don't and they are the ones who come out on top. so i say dont worry, keep your interests in bboying wide as possible, ignore the ignorant, and try to avoid the 'o well, back in MY day...' complex. the world changes and so must we learn to tolerate.