Although I have yet to see this issue, I share your dislike for HDR with a passion. While I have no real issue with shooting B&W with digital or desaturating for that matter, I am sometimes horrified at the amount of manipulation. Why, if you have a good image, and a lot of them are, do you have to max out everything in Photoshop?
I still buy Black and White Photography magazine, the UK one, as they still do run a lot of good articles. The magazine you mention is very expensive here in Australia so I give it a miss.