For my work, (especially when I'm working street or very quiet documentary), noise is a major factor. I've shot similar scenarios with two different cameras (one with an Olympus OM4 and the other with an F90x/N90s). The Olympus OM4 barely makes catches people's attention. The F90x, with it's wild film scream and thumping of it's chest, turned ALL heads when I was shooting from a distance. Yikes!
I totally see where you're coming from, SafetyBob, about being loud and it being a mental "advantage" ... don't think I've thought about it that way. I'll have to maybe thing about it. I knowJoe Buissink had F90x/N90s's and I don't think he ever complained about the noise. (I had originally typed Joe McNally... wrong Joe!).