I have to agree with Beersk. Fined beers, do taste different than just lagered beers. Lets step back though first, to cover the bases.
Chill haze is formed when the beer is cooled, most times around 32-35F, and a haze forms. The colder the beer, the more pronounced the haze becomes. This is due to weak hydrogen bond between polyphenols and protein. As the beer cools the polyphenols are attracted to the protein molecules and attach themselves, the two compounds together make a particle large enough to defuse light, which can be seen. As the beer warms back up to room temperature, the bond is broken and the haze goes away. The two separate molecules are now invisible. If this cooling and warming cycle happens often enough, it cause permanent haze.
Polyphenols are in all wort and occur naturally in barley. Most of the polyphenols are extracted from the grain during the mashing process and the amount extracted can vary based on temperature and pH. All beer contains polyphenols to one level or another. Excessive proteins can also contribute to chill haze as proteins can start to coagulate as the beer is chilled, not to mention it can give polyphenols more protein molecules to create a visible bond.
Yeast haze is pretty simple to understand, it is yeast that has not yet flocculated from the beer and light is being defused by the yeast particles. The suspended yeast may be desirable in some beers like a Hefeweizen, but it most cases it is undesirable and can a harsh flavor component to the beer.
Another obvious form of turbidity is floating particles. Everything from trub to hops can be floating around the beer.
So, with that being said... Filtering and Fining. But really, clear beer starts in the mash tun(hint: second paragraph). We will leave that for another day.
Gelatin(in this example above)- Gelatin is a collagen protein derived from animal by-products and has a strong negative charge. When introduced into chilled beer it will bond with the positively charged yeast and proteins. Since the beer is cold, the gelatin will become gelatinous (what a surprise) and grab the yeast and some of the proteins and drop to the bottom.
So here is the reason, I explained the above about haze and whatnot:
You have to add your 1+1 here. This line:
Since the beer is cold, the gelatin will become gelatinous (what a surprise) and grab the yeast and some of the proteins and drop to the bottom.
We know this right? This is our given...Gelatin Makes clear beer, However...
What else do we have bound to the proteins at this point? Thats right, polyphenols. What are polyphenols? Flavor. SO, by grabbing these molecules using a "bond" instead of just degassing co2, and allowing the beer to do its thing naturally. I believe you do take a hit, at least thats my unscientific theory.
I'm following so far. Maybe I'm missing something, but aside from the time required to achieve the same level of clarity, how does this differ from cold-conditioning and letting the same particles drop out on their own? Just throwing this out for debate, I have no skin in the game either way.