> I am working mountaineering courses, and we have a LOT of available gear to bury
There's the big difference in styles, and needs.
Sue and I travel by ourselves, with no extra gear. When we pitch our tent in the snow the weather is often poor, there may not be anything around us immediately useful, we are tired and hungry and low on energy, and it is late and getting rather cold. I don't think we have ever camped anywhere near another group: we have to be self-sufficient.
There have been times when Sue has helped me stamp out a platform while shivering and poorly coordinating. OK, we are pushing it a bit fine at times, but we think we know what our limits are. I make sure we can get that tent up fast and Sue inside it into shelter. So for us, a handful of good snow stakes is the optimal choice.
But for other people, other styles, under other conditions ...
PS: if you are just starting out in the snow, DON'T push your limits! Play safe. We did too, for many years.