I would agree that Tabata intervals are mostly pretty silly for calisthenic exercises.
But for endurance exercise (running, swimming, cycling, rowing, etc) I don't think we need individual studies to demonstrate that it is an effective means of training for anaerobic and aerobic benefit. There are other studies shown that interval training is effective. Tabata may or may not be better than other interval schemes. But this doesn't matter since it shouldn't be considered the holy grail of interval training, but rather be employed as just another tool in the training repertoire.