First off thank you to the devs for soliciting feedback from the community on this. At least this will allow you to make decisions that are predicated on user feedback. My feedback is as follows...
I feel it is less an issue of simply spotting, and more an issue of inconsistent spotting across the player base. I think a lot of it has to do with the hardware any given player is using at any given time. Of course the realism argument can be made here that some pilots eyes worked better than other pilots eyes and this adds to the realism, but at that point you no longer have a flight combat simulator you have a spotting simulator. If there was a way to ensure an equal level of spotability (is that a word?) across the player base then I would be all for that. It would then allow fights to be dictated more along the lines of piloting and gunnery skills than spotting skills.
The only true solution I can see to this is to turn icons on with a varying level of intensity based on the distance a player is from another player. This would still allow for the advantage of a difficult long range spot, and the ability for a diligent pilot to set up a sneak attack, but also put all player on a level playing field when it comes to spotting. Now of course I know it is sacrilege to many of the player base to even consider icons. But I have been playing online combat sims since the early 90's. Back in the days of Air Warrior 3 and Aces High. Both of those played with the icon settings like I mentioned, and I can guarantee you you that plenty of pilots got bounced without ever seeing the pilot that bounced them, or that bouncing pilots icon. I also felt there was still a huge emphasis put on spotting in those sims, but it was more equal across the board. And way more of my fights there were a contest of pilot skills, not spotting skills.
In summary, there needs to be some form of equalizer that can ensure that spotting is somewhat of a level playing field. Without that there is a certain level of enjoyment that is missing from the game. I want to fly a combat flight simulator, not a spotting simulator.