I think these are deeply linked.One is that AW doesn't support a commercial publishing model based on selling people lists of mechanical elements and stories to play through.
The other is that most RPGers appear to want a type of gameplay that is based around lists of mechanical elements plus stories to play through.
"Selling lists of elements" is such a successful business model that most games want to do it. If your game really is "just one book", you will have a much harder time building a business around it.
This makes it much easier to find games following this model than those that don't.
Hence people who don't like lists are easily turned off by the whole hobby because they don't encounter the games less dominated by lists.
Upshot is that I don't think we really have a good idea how the listless games appeal to people in general.