I heard that story as well,and both sides of the argument on morning tv..I never recline all the way, just enough to give me a slight slant. These guys took it to the extreme, as did your fellow flyers.
On my way to Spain last month I was fortunate to be sitting in business class. I walked on to see a configuration of seats unlike any other plane. 12 seats, in like a fiberglass shell with about 3 feet between you and the one in front of you. I watched as the man beside me across the aisle, used a remote control to make it into a bed! Buttons did everything to the seat but rub your feet
I slept on my side as we flew over the ocean..Just wonderful.....no one reclining and annoying anyone ..it was a good thing.