Chris White was at the LHBS, a few years back for big brew. When I mentioned Dr. Cone I could detect a expression on his face that said he did not agree, he said try under pitching for more esters, especially for British styles IIRC.
There may be an ester production that is bi-modal for ester production, high for low pitch rates, just right for recommended, high for high pitch rates. That is speculation on my part, but it might explain the two camps on this subject. Yeast strain is probably a big knob too.
It would have been nice of Chris actually had a reason rather than an eye roll. So, I guess it comes down to who ya gonna believe? Both men have doctorates and both run large yeast companies. I don't see one person's credentials being more valid than the others. I can say that my own experience, with the strains I use, has been that making sure not to overpitch has resulted in better tasting beer. I think...I'm pretty sure....but I haven't side by side tested it....yet.
I'm not a scientist. Nor am I whatcha call educated. But, in situations other than brewing, I've seen what a scientist says conflict with what a very credible eye witness says. I've found that there are folks who deeply believe the scientist, who wasn't there, and whom they do not know. And conversely, there are folks who are more likely to believe the credible eye witness and doubt the scientist. Blindly following authority smells too much like a priesthood-like situation for me. But taking what authority says and proving it by your own personal observations, rock solid.
So far, in my experience, too little yeast has, or tends to have, more effect on final flavor than too much yeast. But, I have made some beer pitching like two cups of thick slury to a normal gravity wort, and those beers just seemed lackluster. I dont think though that its just as simple as under pitch means more esters, or more yeast means more esters. In my experience, proper oxygenation and fermentation temp has way more effect on esters than pitching cell count. Not because I can quote any authority, its just my eye witness testimony. So, maybe you believe me, maybe you don't. And that's my point. In my book, I only care about what I'm witnessing. Not who I'm quoting about something I've never witnessed. But I also want to learn, and the only way I'll do that is by listening and then proving.