I really wish someone would explain this to me. I've never used the auto-bracketing feature of a camera. Ever. When I was first looking at a Nikon AF camera, the salesman in the store went on about the auto bracketing feature in the F-601 and how great it was. I wanted the F-801s, a more advanced model which didn't have the feature. I was a teenager at the time, so I asked a photographer friend of my Dad's who simply stated you can do it in the camera yourself, you don't need to pay for it.
Since then, I've never given it another thought. If I needed to bracket exposures, I simply changed it myself. Whether it was 3,5 or 7 frames, a 1/3, 1/2 or full stop, it was just dependant on the situation. Auto bracketing doesn't limit the DR available, the selection of exposure does.
Am I misunderstanding this feature, or are we just not wanting to push a button 5,7, or even 9 times when one will do?