I read the entire thread... post-for-post. What a great, albeit over-killed, thread.
I carry a Gransfors Bruks Hatchet under my seat and have reached for it more times than I can count.
I grew up using hatchets, axes, and mauls the way my dad taught me. Growing up as a child of rural Maine, Vermont, and New Hampshire we heated our houses with wood. That meant I spent a considerable amount of time with an axe in hand. My dad would fell the trees before I was old enough to do it, and I would help him clear the base, the spot to be dropped, and limb the trees with him when it was felled. Yes, a sharp, high powered chain saw is brutally fast, but there is something innately human about going out on an early, crisp morning and working with a stick with a sharp bit on the end. The sound of the frost under your feet, your breath hanging in the air, and the sound that a well placed axe makes when it hits home falling into the forest is just... right.
Back to the point, I postulate that a proficient woodsman could take a sharp axe out of his storage spot in his rig and clear a 12" tree from a trail and be rolling again faster than they could get a chainsaw out, don the necessary safety gear (chaps, helmet, eyes and ears), start and and warm the saw, clear the same tree, and then put it all back away.
My .02. Btw, I've lurked for a while and decided to finally say "hello." I'm usually on tacomaworld