Terri, I've been following the discussion here for the last two hours, and would like to respond to several of your comments, and will do so here rather than scatter my responses around the thread. You might conclude I like getting down votes--which I don't--but I'll risk it here and indulge myself in a little rant.
First, I absolutely agree with Missy and Chase (and now, Danielle). In-line sourcing is a superior method of adding sources, at least in most cases. It has been my impression that the main reason more people don't do it is that they don't know how. It does take a little time to learn. Even after I knew how to do it, I had a hard time getting familiar with how to repeat a source and was perplexed by some of the suggestions I got. But I think the method is worth learning.
WikiTree does not require in-line sourcing (I think some projects do). But reading this whole thread again, I can't emphasize enough that I do not think adding in-line sourcing to a profile disrupts the style.
Of course, it isn't terribly useful to add a narrative that simply repeats the data section. That is hardly the ideal, though. Even one of the examples you gave us, Terri, of a profile you had created had much more information than that. On Finger-236, wouldn't it have been easier for the reader if you had added Find A Grave as an in-line source for "Nelli...is buried...in Woodway, Virginia" rather than forcing us to scroll down and find it in the sources?
You gave us an example of a profile where someone had added one in-line source to a profile you manage (reference for the nickname "Polly" on Arrowood-269). What is wrong with that? It is unobtrusive and it is useful. You also mentioned the "1870 census" paragraph that is inserted into the narrative. I don't see what that has to do with in-line sources but I agree (if that's your point) that it spoils the narrative due to its inconsistent style. If I managed that profile I would just move that paragraph down to the sources section and incorporate it into the 1870 census source. (But Darren is right--it does look like you are the one who added it.)
There is a difference between changing someone's style and simply adding sources in a slightly different style. I rarely add sources to profiles I don't manage, having enough of my own that still need work. There are a few exceptions. First, my own direct ancestors, in which case I feel I have just as much right to work on the profile as any other descendant, no matter who is PM. Second, if I encounter a profile that has been neglected and unsourced for years (although sometimes I'd rather just slap on an "Unsourced" sticker). Third, if I have some unique information that would add value to the profile. When I go to the trouble to add sources, I am going to add them in-line. As I already said, I don't see why that would be thought obtrusive. If a PM wants to change it later, that's his or her decision. Maybe you see it as a waste of time, but I see it as a degradation. And by the way, PMs aren't "owners." Also, by the way, I think most of us have plenty to do without going around and changing other people's profile styles "just because we can." A profile would have to be in fairly abysmal shape for me to want to do that. Sadly, many are, yet I hardly ever change them.
What do you and Robynne mean by repetition? If I state that a person was born in 1850, for example, I don't generally stick five references on the end of that sentence if I have five sources for it. Any sensible person can understand that people's ages are listed on the census. I sometimes do list several censuses as references for a more encompassing statement such as "John and Marjorie raised five children." When it comes to how many times one source is repeated in a narrative, I do think that is somewhat a matter of taste.
Nick, unfortunately, there is probably always going to be tradeoff between collaboration and quality--i.e., cases where the question is, should someone come in and improve a profile, even if it offends the PM? (I honestly don't understand what you mean when you say in-line sourcing clouds your thought processes.)