Lyn F. the Organic Chemist posted this cute ditty on how NOT to use the pistons on the King of Instruments (or as Larry the Cable Guy would say: He did WHAT on the King of Instruments?)
I remember going, now several decades ago, to tune and service a lovely three manual Æolian-Skinner located in a beautiful Episcopal parish church in Gothic style (which shall remain nameless) and finding that every piston on the organ contained the same registration: all manual eights and sixteens coupled together. Upon pointing out this obvious failure of the combination action, I was informed by the senior technician, with a chuckle, that this was the registration which the resident organist used for all hymn playing and that she thought it was very clever to have it on all of the pistons--that way, no matter which one she happened to hit, it would be right! One might almost find registration by crescendo pedal preferable!
At least on THAT organ one would prefer the crescendo. And God forbid one would reset a couple of pistons on her. This tempts me to want to find this church and do that.
On another note - I can recall a conversation with a Peragallo rep when I was at Holy Name. We were talking repairs that needed to be done to the Hook and Hastings/Laws organ at the time. This was around 2001. I can remember telling the guy there I'd much rather pull stops one by one than use a crescendo pedal and risk getting stops I wouldn't want. His reply: Spoken like a TRUE organist!