For me, Steve, “function” is climbing over walls with kit and an aid-bag on (approx: 80lbs), which is mimicked most closely by the dip, not the bench press—at least, in my mind—but I am sure the bench would do me well. I know the word is overly used in fitness circles, but that is my definition.
Secondly, in my gym, the “conversationalists” hang out on the benches, discussing “Nip Tuck” and the recent Brittany Spears photos, which always frees up the dip station.
Finally, I would not say it is an ego thing, considering there are larger issues in the world about which one ought to worry than one’s bench numbers. Maybe “hate” was too strong of a word, so I shall say I dislike it, because I have a constant clicking/pop in my shoulder (an injury I sustained on a night jump some years back) that the dip and press do not elicit. The only way the bench does not elicit such a noise is when I keep my arms tight against my ribs, which turns it into a triceps press. Perhaps a professional coach could help me work through these things, but until I find one, my angry shoulder gets what it wants.