My opinion is that while it could be possible to remove moirÃ© artifacts through software algorithms, the process could remove some details as well. My guess is that, to a certain extend, moirÃ© removal has a similar effect to noise removal.
So designers could be faced with two options:
1) Not use an AA filter, leave all the details and moirÃ© but lose some of these details when moirÃ© artifacts are removed by the software
2) Use a light AA filter and lose some details during image capture but get raw images which are mostly free of moirÃ© artifacts
If we look at a similar problem when deciding on Noise Reduction strategy, most would agree that we prefer the camera to leave all the noise in the picture and allow the photographer to decide how much details to sacrifice later during post processing. Software NR allow us to fine tune our personal preferred balance to noise vs details.
Therefore the omission of the AA filter and leaving everything to the software AA algorithm would mean that photographers would be able to decide for themselves the balance between fine details vs moirÃ©. Also, raw files can be reprocessed at a later date with newer and more efficient moirÃ© filters thus squeezing more details out of the image while removing moirÃ© artifacts.
My only question is whether moirÃ© artifacts from a sensor without an AA filter can destroy the details of an image to an extend that cause it to contain less details than a sensor with an optimum AA filter? If this is the case, then my reasoning might not be valid anymore