After gaming for a while there are just some details you forget about, they become background and forgotten.
Having new players has been a reminder about things I've long forgotten.
After introducing my players to a few different games we were trying out something new, one of the players was attacked, I rolled the die and asked for the players defense to see if he was hit. I called out "18 that is a hit" the player reached for his dice looking a little concerned "what do I roll" he asked. I told him nothing that his defense was static like the first game we played, he sat back and didn't say much and took the damage he was assigned. He made a single small remark about liking the defense roll in the previous game.
Something in that exchange stuck with me. Hit a chord and reminded me of my many systems discussions so many years back. I would hang out with my original group going on about such things.
Looking at all my games I seem split right down the middle between games with active and passive defenses. My collection would lead to the belief that I don't have a preference. But I do, I prefer and active defense roll over a static passive defense. I feel it empowers the player and feels more heroic, its just a personal preference. It's not something I'm so hung up on that I can't enjoy the other. Matter of a fact my games that I run the most right now both have passive defenses.