You know, I have to be that guy and ask.....why is the rear-entry boot not popular any more? I had a pair when was little, and looking back they seem to make so much more sense than top-entry...
For starters, the foot enters the boot more naturally, creating less stress and strain on the foot. Imagine this when you are trying to get a cold 140 flex touring boot on in the morning outside your tent....soooo much easier. Since the entry hinge is located in the rear, you can stiffen up the front, creating a more solid boot for you to be leaning into. One shouldn't be leaning backwards while they ski anyway, so having a solid forward platform makes sense. You can still place tightening buckles on the arch and toe, but don't need to have the entry in those places. Additionally, more insulation can be provided on the top of the foot where a lot of heat is lost in a traditional boot (I recall my rear-entry being warmer, but I'm not 100% sure as that was a long time ago).
Am I missing something? I probably am, otherwise rear-entry would be more popular these days. I'm not very well-versed in ski technology history. I mean, all these years of ski boot development all around the world have produced some pretty incredible products, so they must be on to something!
tl;dr- Why aren't rear entry boots more popular as they seem to have more benefits than traditional boots?