I started this thread, however after some more research I found this ExBEERiment, a controlled experiment comparing 2 beers made identically except one used a hop spider to contain the hops and the other was free range - hops added directly to the boil.
The result of the experiment was '….participants in this xBmt were unable to reliably distinguish a hoppy Pale Ale made with the kettle hops added to a hop spider from one where the hops are added directly to the boiling wort.'After reading the results of this I am inclined to employ a SS hop spider in the future to keep pellet hop trub out of my plumbing, pump, and chiller entirely.
HOWEVER....I wonder if the same result would occur for a beer recipe with less hops, in other words, is it possible the overt hoppiness of this beer made it hard to tell the difference between the two? Would a difference be more detectable in a less hoppy brew?