I have heard about many complaints about the old table insertion behavior. Blindly casting everything will leak the user mistake to a late stage of the data pipeline, and make it very hard to debug. When a user writes string values to an int column, it's probably a mistake and the columns are misordered in the INSERT statement. We should fail the query earlier and ask users to fix the mistake.
In the meanwhile, I agree that the new table insertion behavior we introduced for Data Source V2 is too strict. It may fail valid queries unexpectedly.
In general, I support the direction of following the ANSI SQL standard. But I'd like to do it with 2 steps:
1. only add cast when the assignment rule is satisfied. This should be the default behavior and we should provide a legacy config to restore to the old behavior.
2. fail the cast operation at runtime if overflow happens. AFAIK Marco Gaido is working on it already. This will have a config as well and by default we still return null.
After doing this, the default behavior will be slightly different from the SQL standard (cast can return null), and users can turn on the ANSI mode to fully follow the SQL standard. This is much better than before and should prevent a lot of user mistakes. It's also a reasonable choice to me to not throw exceptions at runtime by default, as it's usually bad for long-running jobs.