You have given me a solid analogy and I commend you by conceding a point: There can be relevance and it is therefore not moot. At least not until the spell is removed in S3 (your original counter-statement).
I however can't ignore the fact that evidence for the larger argument (Surge>Ignite) has been fairly weak, including the original post by OldManEyeBrows (another earlier statement that I made needs to be retracted as well). The evidence has either been pretty subjective (I use it on X champion and I do fine with it) or in one case given inconsistent comparisons (Surge will do more damage then Ignite against towers or creep waves). The one time I was presented with hard objective evidence (Vunjo's example) it was riddled with, in my opinion, some faults:
1) His math is wrong (This I find kinda humorous since he cites a source with the equation and an example to illustrate). He incorrectly calculated ending Attack Speed and made some of his conclusion based on this error. Using numbers from the Wiki and his base model of lvl 9 Master Yi:
Master Yi's base attack speed is .679. He gains 2.98% per level for 8 levels (level 1 is not included) for a total of 23.84%. 25% from Zerker Greaves. 40% from Highlander. 50% from Youmuu's Active. Bonuses are additive so 25+40+50+23.84 = 138.84%. Masteried Surge gives 40% for a total of 178.84%. Calculation for each is:
.679 * (100%+138.84%)-> .679 * 238.84%-> .679 * 2.3884= 1.622 (Game rounds to 3 points)
.679 * (100%+178.84%)-> .679 * 278.84%-> .679 * 2.7884= 1.894
Not the best quality but a screenshot nonetheless: http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y38/pheonixfire000/YiAttackSpeed.jpg
This is actually only a 16.7% increase, not 18%. If AD remains the same then without surge: 213 * 1.622 = 345.486. Applying Surge would increase damage by 57.69. Ignite is 46 DPS. That gap just got smaller.
2) There is some exaggeration that is creating some false emphasis. At level 9, having both a Youmuu's and a Brutalizer with Zerk's means you have almost 5k gold. Not saying that's impossible, it just comes off as pretty far-fetched. And saying 66 armor pen at level 9 is "far more than most players have" is pure hyperbole. Master Yi himself at level 9 has about 50 from just base. Throw in armor seals and the armor mastery (both easily met conditions) and he has close to 69 armor. Sure he has only 3 armor remaining, but the fact it's there and is higher can invalidate his statement. This ties into my last problem:
3) He uses a Goldfish Opponent. I remember using this term when I played Magic: The Gathering. Essentially you played a solitaire game with your deck against an imaginary opponent that just passed his turn and did nothing else. Sure you could see how your deck could play on each of it's turns, but you were ignoring human interaction and reaction. Not a really good way to test something. It's like looking at something in a vacuum. He tries to build on his argument by adding that crit and more ad make the number bigger, but he ignores how additional armor will reduce the number. OldManEyeBrows tries to eliminate this by looking at skeleton numbers, but I don't feel that's a proper way to look at it either. If I was to use the Yi example then lets say his opponent buys Ninja Tabi (Something easily doable by level 9 even if you were to goldfish in the game). Ninja Tabi not only has 25 armor, but it lowers auto-attacks by 10%. According to the wiki this stacks multiplicatively with armor, so I believe the calculation would look like this:
25 armor -> 100/125 = .8 -> 20% physical damage reduction
(1-.2)*(1-.1) = .72 or 28% physical damage reduction.
Here's where I might mess up so please correct me if I'm wrong but given the previous Yi example:
213*.72=153.36*1.622 =248.749 (I think this is how you would calculate it since you reduce the damage then factor attack speed, I could be wrong). If Surge increases damage by 16.7% like I said before then Surge is only increasing your damage by 41.54. Ignite is still 46.
Can you see how I'm having trouble being truly convinced? Yes, I have been presented with examples from both sides, but I find them all to be fairly weak or inconsistent. So even if evidence is thrown at me, I shouldn't just take it at face value and automatically assume a certain truth or falsehood. You yourself have given what could be considered better objective reasoning then anything else presented and you still come up with a middle ground/neutral answer, so I hope you can see where I'm coming from in this perspective.
Honorable comment, I must say that. I am shocked that someone actually took the task to calculate it on his own. Congratulations for that.
But...I'm sure I have listed another thing, search for the quote on your own, but these were my words "I have forgot to implement the double strike passive, and critical strike damage, so my calculations are wrong, but are actually higher in result than it is at the moment". So the damage is as following:
212 AD. 15% crit chance, given the fact that critical strike deals 210% damage (100% + 100% + 10% mastery point), we can easly use the following formula:
New Attack Damage = (Attack Damage x (1 - Crit Chance)) +(Attack Damage * Crit Chance * Crit Damage)
Making it a total of 246.98 => 247
Correct me if I'm wrong, but Double Strike can just increase the overall damage output by 8/7 => 14.28%, since in the time of 7 attacks, Yi will strike 8 times.
Which makes the damage go up to 282.28 instead. The best part? It's the damage, not DPS :>
I see that I have made a mistake in calculating attack speeds now. But, you made a slight mistake too. You forgotten the 4% attack speed bonus from mastery :)
So I'll just apply those 4% into your calculations:
Without Surge: 1.64
With Surge: 1.92
Which makes it 17% difference in DPS (It's just silly, but I think you were way too confident, nice try though).
Which adds up to 78.69 -> 79 bonus Physical DPS.
So your maths weren't correct either, yet you didn't see it like I mentioned in posts few days ago, where I clearly said that I have forgotten to imply certain factors (I might still be missing few of them). Let's get to your points now.
2.) I hate to use this term, but it's simply based on my user experience. If you haven't tried Surge as much as I use it, then I suppose it's hard to counter this one. Early in the game, when enemy jungler comes to our lanes (I lane as AD Carry along with a support), and let's say that I might be level 6 by that time. If so, given certain factors, but cause of Surge and clearly overspamming Q to champions, I end up having a triple kill. But since this is asks for too many factors, let's just say, surge grants me early game double kill in ~85% of games.
The above point: If I'm level 9, it does not mean the enemy team is also filled with level 9 champions. I'm usually at least 2 levels (a lot of times even more) higher than them. This makes them have less armor.
Another point: They do not gain that much armor like you said, because Master Yi has actually quite high base armor, and armor gain, making your post invalid.
+ Even if they somehow manage to reach the given armor penetration, in the season 3, which this is the point of course, to have a possibility that Riot should keep Surge in season 3. Maths change. Rotation of calculating Armor Penetration changes. The % armor penetration comes first. Because of the 10% from Mastery point, it now allows them to have up to 73 armor, at pretty low levels, considering that Surge grants me overall much higher level improvement than the others gain. Given the fact that it won't and does not happen in most cases, I assume I was right.
Another point, the rotation of my focus is simple, kill the tanks last, or my last focus is one with Ninja Tabi.
Since this was actually all seen from my games, my Master Yi with my builds, I'm pretty confident that all I say here simply gets accepted, bringing pictures here is just silly since everyone can see my scores in LoL if anyone cares to see them though.
Another, and far biggest wrong part of your post. The overall damage from my calculations if first post was not around 70, but around 160. Despite Master Yi being mainly based on Attack Damage, when given such power, his Alpha Strike is devastating, and I dare saying in some cases deal more damage (Well, in this one the DPS was higher). Not to mention that the time I took was 10 seconds, in reality, because of the overall high DPS, it's much lower, based that the team is fighting as well, I'm sure the enemies melt in 6 seconds, which overall makes the Alpha Strike DPS increased by 67%. Now I'm just inserting approximations, but:
If the Alpha Strike DPS was about 92.4, then given by my game plays, and pretty much this position, is increased to 154.3, which when added to physical DPS, is up to 233.3 bonus DPS given from Surge.
Which makes, in this case, Surge > Ignite by 507%.
Well played, but you have forgotten a mastery point, so don't brag about anything without being apsolutely sure, or at least, saying that there might be a mistake or 2. Indeed, I did some mistakes with the physical damage calculations, but I have said so in the posts after it.
Your main mistake was the fact that you forgot the godlike Alpha Strike. How did you even start the physical calculation point, and yet, even say that "46 Ignite damage is stronger than 41.54 Surge damage" If you forgot the highest DPS gain of the Surge, used by Alpha Strike?
EDIT: I think I also mentioned that I was out of this conversation, clearly because people can't give any reasonable arguments that can completely throw my theories to pieces, but this post, your post, just gave me the inspiration to join. I consider being out now.
Talking about perspectives, sure, you can't use Surge on champions like Ryze, or a lot of other mages. But that's not how you can counter it's power. It's used by fewer champions, but results are much higher, as you can see that.