I have geared two of my bikes half-step (49-46/14-26 on Capo #2, 45-42/13-26 on the Peugeot). My other bikes are all 1.5-step (50-42/14-26 on the Bianchi) or 1.5-step-plus granny (48-40-28/13-26 on the mountain bike).
At one time, I suppose primarily because of limitations in front derailleur design and rear derailleur chain windup capacity, half-step gearing was the default for racing and fast touring bikes, but today it lives on only in our little C&V world. The early 1960s Varsinentals came with 52-49/15-25 or 50-47/15-25 half-step, my 1962 Bianchi had a 52-47/13-26 half-step, and my 1971 Nishiki had a wide-range 54-47/14-34 half-step. I think Trek was still delivering half-step-plus-granny well into the 1980s.
So -- how many of you have either half-step or half-step-plus-granny on one or more of your bikes? Do you keep it just to be authentic or to accommodate balky old derailleurs, or do you genuinely enjoy it as much as I do? Has anyone else played around with third-step, e.g. the 50-47-44 / and 49-46-43 / 13-16-19-23-26 combinations I ran on two of my bikes through most of the 1980s?