I think part of the appeal of poppers/sliders/gurglers when swff is very much the same as when fishing spinning/conventional on top. There is no moment more fun than the feel of that impending strike on the surface. Seeing the water being pushed from behind as a fish tracks the offering. So if we enjoy fishing with a flyrod, why not include the topwater action and add to the enjoyment.
Surface presentations always seem to attract the more aggressive fish in the area, since the 'schoolies' are often more agressive, they rise to the occasion (pun intended) first.
When I've had the opportunity to be selective around a pod of fish surface feeding, I've tried working the very edges of the action. If a bigger fish is going to come up, it seems to be out on the edges.
And then there will be the fish like at the Spring Run clave that the 'pope' took fishing a popper midday at low slack that came up out of nowhere like a freight train. Juro had a firsthand view of that one.