I found myself doing a serious shoot yesterday (life does the darnest things) to create dossier shots for a couple classy musicians. The venue was a school auditorium that was nice enough, but it proved impossible to turn the stage lighting on. Fortunately, despite not being much of a lighting guy, I'd come prepared and the shoot went better than expected just being lit by my SB-600 perched on a tripod and firing its little heart out at the high ceiling. As I ran around, I'd move the flash to maintain line of sight for CLS and try to more or less keep it in front and off the side of my subjects, though at times it ended up more behind them.
At the time, I was just happy things were working, but later I thought about it and started wondering if taking the flash off the camera had made that much difference to the quality of light since I was firing it straight up the entire time.
What say the more experienced strobists? Would things have looked notably different if I'd kept the flash on-camera and bounced it the same way?