Thanks "kennel maiden" and "Colonel Blimp" for your descriptions. Many years ago I spent a day at a "Working Test" in north Yorkshire (while on a business trip.)
The dogs were very nice looking and more uniform in conformation than North American field Labs, on the small-to-medium size for that comparison, and generally smaller than Norwegian ones I've seen earlier that trip in Trondheim. On the average, better looking than either. They also didn't look at all like American show Labs.
Both the dogs and humans were well-mannered. I had a wonderful time and was greeted most cordially - well, except for a little razzing about repeating shotguns .
What that visit lets me add to my understanding of your comparison is a little better understanding of the conditions of "an ordinary day's "shoot"" (we call it "hunt"). They are vastly different on the two sides of the pond. For example, I've never hunted wild pheasants with my Labs at heel and other breeds flushing game (though I have heard of people in the MidWest who do. It's very rare.) In fact, one of the traits I prize in Labs is the ability to do the flushing job (as well as the ability to use their noses and other things prized in your trials). I've never even heard of a "drive" on wild birds. Waterfowl hunting here on land or water wouldn't compare to anything I saw, even though there was one (basic) water blind in the working test.
So while it is fair to characterize North American field trials and hunt tests as "fake", transplanting a British estate shoot here would not represent the conditions of our "ordinary day's "shoot"" either. (Our game laws likely would prevent making it "real" - even given other difficulties.)
Back then I very much wanted to see what you folks did so I could see if any of it could apply to trying to make North American Hunt Tests more realistic. And I think "realism" in hunt tests is less important than good preparation for real hunting. For me the games are only a pass-time and preparation for the real thing. Alas, I couldn't transplant any of it to tests. But I did enjoy the day an remember it fondly.