Dale let's get the facts and history correct.
First the Scotch Whisky Act says that casks must be no larger than 700 litres not 600.
You say that chill filtration was pioneered in the 1930's, that may be true in America but it was originally called pre-cooling and invented and patented in 1926 by a Glasgow [Scotland] whisky company who used it for a couple of years then stopped. The reason 100% of all blends are chill filtered is because in the late 1960's American drinkers demanded whisky that wouldn't go cloudy when they stored it in the fridge at 4 degrees. So during the first couple of years of the 1970's ALL Scotch whisky companies had to perfect a means of accomodating this demand. Not all went down the chill filtration route as there were other ways to do this. At this time there was only a very few thousand cases of malts **** and they also used the same method.
You say that colour was pioneered in Chicago in the 1880's, this may be fact but had nothing to do with Scotch more with Bourbon and American Whiskies as colour wasn't in general use in the UK until the 1890's or even later. I agree that phylloxera was the spark to make Scotch become what it is today but it devastated all European vines, the only original European vines that were left unaffected were, and still are, in Cyprus.
It doesn't matter what the colour of the wine is before distillation as during that process all colour is taken out and clear spirit is the result. The brandy/cognac industry have always, and still do, used a much larger volume of colour than Scotch whisky in their spirit as european oak gives very little colour during maturation and they only toast their casks.
The only colouring allowed under the SW Act is Spirit Caramel and that's produced by one company in the UK, the rules state that its use "should not be sufficient to deceive the consumers", Factually there is less that 1 part per 10 million of caramel in whisky and does nothing to the taste and smell of the whisky only to the appearance.
As to your comment about "floaties", if you look at the adverts in the 1880's they were and had been ******* plate and frame filters that are exactly the same as the ones used today. I believe your misunderstand filtration as ALL Scotch whiskies are barrier filtered to remove the bits of char and wood present and produce a clean whisky, there is one company that puts pieces of char into their bottles but that's after barrier filtration, but not all chill filter their whiskies. You will see the words "non chill filtered" which means that not that there's no filtration.
I do fully agree with your paragraph about consistency and visual appearance as that is really important in the current commercial climate.
To finish this discussion about to colour or not really started in Germany in the mid 1990's when they introduced a law which meant that anything that was added to a product had to be stated on the label. This meant that all Scotch's had to carry the German wording that said "with added caramel" and all of a sudden they started complaining about it. Up to that time they hadn't bothered even though Austria had enacted that law about 25 or so years earlier and all Austrian bottles carried the wording.