I prefer an octo gate. Simply because I am hopeless at finding the left and right zones with any reliability - and keep on jumping when I just mean to walk left and right. I don’t find any problems with things like Rufus’ dive kick either. Basically, there’s nothing that I find easier on a square gate - everything is either the same or easier with an octo gate.
Interestingly, having used an octo gate exclusively for a few months, I went back to a square gate in my local arcade, and found it much easier to do stuff like half-circle motions, which used to be hell for me - so maybe an octo gate kinda works like ‘training wheels’. I fnd myself getting stuck in the corners less often, and doing much smoother motions, simpy because they’re what I’m used to.
So while I still prefer an octo gate, I’m thinking of putting my square gate back in just so I can get used to arcade playing conditions at home. And it’s not really much of a hindrance either way, now I’m more used to it.