I'm shocked to hear some of these stories. I can honestly say i've never been so inconvenienced on a plane. I've never found that the seats tilt back quite that much (of course my flight experiences is limited to Air Canada, West Jet, SW and NW).
Perhaps its only a problem if the person in front has enough weight to force the chair back?
I'm (somewhat) embarrassed to say that the only problem I've ever had was directed at me. It was a flight home from MCO. My daughter was almost 3 and my son was 18 months. They were particularly well behaved, if I do say so myself. I had their DVD and was playing Dora. They were too young to wear headphones, and so I had the volume up just enough so that I could barely hear it.
A woman came up to me from a few rows back and asked me to turn it down. I understand that sound carries differently especially in an aircraft and it is possible that what I could barely hear was too loud for her. What bothered me was the way she phrased her request, "I'd rather hear your kids scream than hear Dora" is what she snarled at me.
I was particularly bothered by her phrasing (almost willing me to make my kids cry); but I conced (without argument) and turned off the volume.
I am happy to say that, other than this incident, my kids have never bothered anyone. And If I did see them kicking the seatback, I would immediately stop them.