If I accept that step mashing makes a difference for my German lagers, I'm not really concerned with whether infusion step mashing or hitting my steps with a decoction makes a difference. On my system, I've found decoction mashing to be the most efficient way to hit my step temps. If it adds a flavor component, that's great. If not, no big deal. So while an extensive and properly conducted experiment might yield an interesting data point, it probably wouldn't change my current practices much, if at all. If such an experiment conclusively determined that decoction does not contribute to a beer's flavor, the only thing I might do differently is to apply a standard, shorter decoction boil time across the board. But I wouldn't likely stop doing decoctions altogether.