This "new" way of working with documents takes way too much time.
I might need to alter one word in a contract & send it to an athlete's agent for perusal. I would not want my 1.2GB template DUPLICATED nor SAVED in any other format. If that's the new way, it's also the wrong way.
If you DUPLICATE a file, and open it to work on it, when you close it, the OS SAVES it, even though you did not want it to. Now you have a version of a CONFIDENTIAL document on your machine, and you're violating the NDA you signed.
I used to be able to open a template, change one word, spit out a PDF & email to the client and close the document without ever saving it. No extra copies (or idiotic DUPLICATES) on my drive, cluttering things & confusing admin's when they re-visit the folder 5 years later. Only a PDF marked TEST. And no versions stored in any apps.
As sirozha already said, you are still saving the pdf file, there goes your NDA and your disk storage space. And if your strategy is to save storage space by only keeping the pdf versions of your documents around (because they are smaller than the .pages documents), nobody stops you from deleting these duplicates you created.
Obviously you don't care about other people, if a new feature helps a significant group of other people but does not help you (and even slightly inconvenience you), then it clearly is nonsense for you. Good luck trying to elicit goodwill with that attitude.
And don't you think people who create multiple versions of 1.2 GB documents are smart enough to buy their storage from other places than Apple because it is cheaper there (and thus do not help Apple's bottom line)? Ah, wait their are people like you who do create 1.2 GB documents, so maybe my assumption was wrong.
But you know what your fundamental problem is? You run a business on applications but spend more energy complaining that the world is coming to an end than actually just finding the most efficient solution for your needs. If Lion's feature versioning feature is slowing you down noticeably why are you still on Lion? Or why are you still on Pages 4.1 (and not back to Pages 4.0.5)?