but I am reluctant to paying points because someone else deals in
I understand that to some degree. First, it's what you're used to. But from another angle, you didn't win the hand, so some minimal penalty seems in order. With ZJ 3.3, that penalty is now only 25 points, made up by winning a hand with just a set of dragons. You can even think of that 25 points as going to the winner instead, where in riichi, you'd be farther behind just because the winner needs a minimum score. The net effect is the same.
Not only the defensive aspect, but I also prefer the importance of a concealed hand in reach. If you can just call every pon and chii and make a profit every hand, the skill factor is a little bit reduced as you don't really have to think about tile efficiency as much, since whatever tile you need may just come up on the board and you can just use it.
Having a preference is fine. I've played some riichi, and in my experience, I get maybe two or three chances per hand to call a tile. More to the point, just going for it will give you fast wins. However, sometimes someone will win a big hand quickly, wiping out all your gains. One 50 point hand (say one suit plus a dragon) takes 50 no-point hands to recover, and games just aren't that long. So yes, ZJ makes it more profitable to win than to "not lose." That's not a bad thing in my book.
What I'm saying is, it's not something I'd normally play, or even regularly, however it has a lot of merit to be recognized concerning it's far less difficult to teach than reach, and that it brings aspects from different sets of rules into one thus getting players from Hong Kong, TW and reach fighting on an equal ground. So, as for WSoM, I think it really serves it purpouse, even though I'd much rather join a reach event. I still take my hat off to the creator of these rules.
I value these discussions with riichi proponents, but as far as I'm concerned, riichi has too many flaws to make it enjoyable, while ZJ modernizes the classical Chinese style and still allows for many offensive and defensive opportunities.