Haven't been on this site lately (for obvious reasons in just a minute), but will present a different side.
First, I LOVE MDXs. We've owned two of them over a 9 year period, and have put over 200,000 miles on them (failing transmission on the 06 MDX at 135,000 miles was the reason for getting rid of it). When it came down to a new MDX or Pilot, we picked the Pilot.
(1) The MDX -- no question -- has superior handling and acceleration. I miss it. On the other hand, my driving habits just don't include much full-throttle acceleration runs (I used to have my BMW convertible for when I wanted to do that, and it did it better than the MDX). I do miss the power of the MDX when passing on two-lane roads.
(2) If you're into plastic wood, the MDX certainly looks significantly more luxurious, and I agree that the hard plastic on the Pilot is anything but desirable. BUT -- I find very little, if any, difference in the quality of the leather in our Pilot Touring's seats and those of the base MDX. The Pilot is an extremely comfortable car in which to travel.
(3) I was sick and tired of paying for premium fuel (with as much as a $.40/gallon cost premium) and getting worse mileage than I get on the Pilot. For some of us, money matters.
(4) We go to our lake house a lot and carry a ton of stuff with us, and the Pilot certainly seems to have more cargo capacity than the MDX had. Also, the included hitch, which is VERY well integrated into the rear bumper, saved the cost of an ugly add-on with the MDX. (Have to take the boats in and out each year.)
(5) The Pilot is certainly quieter than our 2006 MDX. That's probably not a fair comparison, but I have no complaints about the noise level in it.
(6) Love the built-in window screens on the second-row windows on the Touring model -- also the fact that the second row is adjustable front to back.
Again, I loved our two MDXs, and will look at one again when the new models come out (we put about 30,000 miles a year on them). But for us, given our needs at our stage in life, the Pilot just seemed to be a better fit right now. I would never suggest that someone who purchased an MDX made a bad decision; it's just not necessarily the right decision for everyone else.
06 Touring AWP/Saddle w/nav - hers
08 Honda Accord EX-L V6 NBP/saddle - his