Mrs. Brown and I didn't care to drag suits and fancy dresses along to our first cruise on the Inspiration in 2002, so we figured we'd just sit formal night out and eat at the buffet. When our waiter (a magnificent gent from Colombia named Oscar) heard of our plans he would have absolutely none of it, and insisted that we attend and would not accept our explanation of inadequate dress. Finally he said he'd meet us at the back door to the dining room and seat us, so we didn't have to pass by the Maitre d. After we were seated we realized that "formal night" in the dining room is really no big deal and we've never looked back. We wear nice clothes every night in the dining room, but I'm still not about to take a suit with me on vacation, especially with the increasingly restrictive airline baggage policies.
While some may be understandably sorry to see "Formal Night" disappear, I'm sure the majority will not miss it.
Side note: I've always regretted not getting a picture of Oscar and his assistant Henrietta from Slovakia- something I haven't overlooked on successive cruises. He was a very nice man and a fantastic waiter; he really "made the trip" for us like none has since.