For what it's worth, the problem that laces solve is that when using velcro straps, the leather toe straps either sit in the gap between the straps or in some awkward spot on the shoe. With flat laces, the leather straps fit slightly more comfortably. Also, laces allow the rider to cinch the shoe down even tighter than with velcro straps.
I've used custom lace-up shoes (read: cut the 2 lowers straps off and punched lace-holes in them) and they were nice with the straps, but took more effort to loosen the shoe for comfort between efforts/races.
It's really a personal preference. Each system has it's pros and cons.