Aether 1.0 was released originally in 2009, 10 years ago. At the time convolution verbs were still king. Aether was, IMHO, the first algorithmic verb to really compete with and some may say beat the current convolution verbs. It also proved definitively it was possible for a plug-in to match the best hardware legends. Since convolution is obviously good at "real" a lot of the original focus of Aether was on its more creative applications, which are just not practical with convolution, and I myself tended to make a lot of very large ambient presets bc I was working in electronic/dance music and scoring at the time where creativity and a "futurism" aesthetic was the key. And I grew up listening to ambient music, so this stuff is in my DNA and so I just can't resist making 100second presets with bizarre damping filter etc. And well, I made most of the original factory presets, so the initial launch had a rather "creative" sound to it bc of this.
The preset designer and producer Den, made an awesome set of more traditional/"real"/acoustic presets shortly after that, that proved Aether does "real" extremely well also.
I would agree that B2 goes even further into sound-design territory, and that is where we wanted to position it. That was the design intent. It's a "spatial sound design playground". Ironically it also because very popular in the scoring community for "normal"/"real" presets, largely do to its incredible sense of depth.
The combination of Precedence and Breeze is most "real" at the moment I would say, particularly if you are using many linked instances as we advocate. Simon's expansion gets pretty creative though.
So things get blurry somewhat, and yes, different people have different perspectives on what "real" is. If you come from a purely electronic music background your perspective may be quite different than say as classical or jazz musician with performance experience.
I am still not convinced that "exactly real" is what is the platonic ideal for reverb. Most real spaces are imperfect. It's a simple thought experiment to realize that concert halls are built to attempt to reach some specific acoustic/mathematical goals for aesthetic reasons. But these goals may not be obtainable with reasonable constructions methods, materials, and needs of having human beings somewhere in the space. So I would say the "design ambitions" for concert halls are better to emulate than the concert halls themselves. But it is good to be aware of the general physics of acoustics etc.
In Breeze 2 and precedence I did study such "real" topics significantly more than in the past and they are definitely more "physically informed" than say B2. B2 was never trying to be "real". It does not really care about real. It cares only about sounding great/interesting and inspiring creativity. Aether's design philosophy does care about real, at least based on our early 2000s understanding of what "real" is/was. Future Aether versions will care even more about real as well, and we have of course not stopped learning...
Building things is fun. It's always humbling to discover how much you don't know. Even when you are an "expert"... That's the cool part. it'd be no fun if there was not something new to learn.