Burn rate charts have rather little to do with the reality of handloading. The published rate orders are usually determined by bomb-tests, not from firing bullets down a barrel. And that wouldn't give accurate rankings either....
Experienced reloaders know that powders change burning rates at different pressures, and in different cartridges - sometimes with just a bullet change in the same cartridge. All this fixation on "burning rates" is balderdash and just confuses the less-informed reloader. Far better to go to actual loading data for your particular application rather than to agonize over where powder IRA-1234 fits on some arbitrary "burn rate" chart.
What if you're loading for a wildcat and there is no book data available? What if it's a fairly new powder and/or the books you have don't include the powder and bullet combination you're interested in? What if you're an inveterate tinkerer and just want to satisfy your curiosity about a load recipe that doesn't exist in any book?
I agree that new reloaders should stick to published data, but after doing this for 20 some years, loading for dozens of different rifle, pistol and shotgun cartridges and shells, I hardly consider burn rate charts to be arbitrary. This thread is about redundancy, or duplicity, in the naming of various powders, which can be very important information for the reloader. If you walk into a store and they don't have H-Whatever, but you know that W-123 is the same powder in a different can, then you don't walk away empty-handed.
Given that all burn rate charts I've seen are only a relative
ranking, I do understand your point, but they still offer relevant and meaningful points of reference, especially when you're working up loads for a new rifle, or an obscure case. As long you don't base any decision ENTIRELY on a burn rate chart, and take the time to understand more than just what "number" a given powder has in the list, they are useful and valuable.
A perfect example of when experience and a burn chart can be of some help, is when a new bullet like the FTX comes out and you really want to try it in an old classic, like the 44/40. Unless you buy new reloading books every six months, you have to kind of figure out for yourself how to safely use it. If you don't put a lot of faith in "internet loads", or you don't want to wait until someone DOES publish book data, (whether in print or on their website) you have to use your prior experience, and any information that is available, to begin working up safe, effective loading data. Many reloaders make use of burn charts in those types of situations, and rightfully so.