I agree w/ above but I also would like to point out one of the side effects of air control. If you compare it to crouchsliding (which is similar), the major difference is that being in the air and bunnyhopping makes you more vulnerable. It's a balance between risk and reward. You can move faster but you also risk getting pushed by knockback or popped up by a well placed explosive.
Another thought about strafe jumping in general is that I think it is, at its essence, about another, deeper and more nuanced level of control over your player. It's not necessarily always about going as fast as possible (although that is fun) but sometimes it's about going the right speed. In duels, you may want to be going a certain pace to get somewhere in time for something but not so fast that it becomes dangerous and foolhardy. In race, the most efficient route may not always be the one that goes at maximum possible speed. In other words, it's the power to control how fast you move.