At last night's game (not to be named) we used a battle mat and dry erase markers. It reminded me of using a whiteboard in the Fantasy Grounds 2 VTT.
It wasn't detailed, it didn't look like a board game, and distances weren't accurately measured but eyeballed for the most part.
So, you could visualize where everyone was in reference to each other (and the baddies) without being sucked into the battle map / grid / work of art and without being locked into "move 4 squares, then spend a 1/3 action pivoting, counting diagonal moves as 1.2 squares, rounds up... yadda yadda".
Grids make me feel like I should be breaking out my 1st edition Warhammer 40k boxed set, and doing some unit on unit combat. Needless to say my old group used to balk at that. It was never our style.
Could a whiteboard styled battle "map" be a working compromise in the Hatfields and McCoys - er, I mean the Old School / New School divide?
I doubt it will satisfy the extremists (most vocal fanboys?) on either side of the argument, but it might be a way for the moderates to meet in the middle.
Then again, the US Congress is a dysfunctional entity with uncompromising extremists on both sides of the isle - why should our hobby be any different? ;)