Robert Allen writes: ". . . the idea of putting a coin in a piece of apparatus to perform a very basic effect which might be better done with sleights, or a shell, is difficult for me to justify . . . "
That's the whole point! It has to be justified!
In my Showtime column in the Linking Ring magazine of January, '02, I present the routine "Robin 'n the Hood", which is essentially a coins across and a transposition using an Okito box.
However, the whole thing is done as a comedy routine with Robin Hood robbing from the rich and giving to the poor; the Okito box is a strongbox in which those with the money keep their riches.
So the Okito box has a reason for being there; otherwise, Robert Allen is right.
As for closeup pads, I never use them except when practicing.
To put down a pad when table hopping is the ultimate rudeness because it invades the customer's space -- and that's a "no-no".
There are a whole bunch of other reasons, but that's the main one.