When I wrote about the modern Sturmey Archer Duomatic hub last week, a reader pointed out that vintage coaster brake hubs have "more 'backlash' - so you have to rotate the pedals further before engaging the brake." I had noticed this as well after switching back and forth between bikes with modern coaster brake hubs (SA and Shimano) and vintage ones (SA and Sachs).
My preference is for the older style. The position my legs tend to be in when braking with the older hubs feels more comfortable. And it is also more convenient to start from a stop: It is easier to arrange the pedals in the correct position when there is more "give" before the coaster brake is engaged.
I am sure there is a good reason why current coaster brake hubs are made so that they are quicker to engage. Anybody know what they are, and the history behind the change?