Old, doesn't fly any longer in modern versions of Photoshop on Mac.
As Jeff said, ABW is a black box. The idea is to let it do the heavy lifting by converting a color image. The degree of control over this is, well not for those that want to fully control the process outside ABW. If you are doing this kind of work, doing your own toning etc, then you'll need to use an ICC profile without ABW.
I was not aware of the problem on Mac.
I agree with your point on doing without ABW. It is also the way I do it and am very satisfied with the results. ABW is kind of working blind.