welcome back it's been a while since we've seen you here!
I agree wholeheartedly with you, about the untrained rider. However, i got the feeling that the person asking the question was at least fairly well trained! plus the question, to my mind at least, was highly specific.
I'm not sure about the last part of your query. there's plenty of papers validating e.g., Kingcycle, but i don't think any (that i can think of suggesting differences in resistances).
Presumably, different methods of resistance, might alter the initial inertial affect as a subject accelerates -- but the inertia might be more linked with the mass of the flywheel. Once up to a constant load, i don't think it'll make a difference in a physiological perspective. for instance, 250 W, is 250 W and metabolic responses are constrained by the mechanical power output required, and then secondary factors such as cadence, which alters effieciency. That's not to say that some types of trainers/resistance units feel 'pants' (scientific word that!), and others don't!