The thing is, I'd be willing to bet some good hard cash (not much cash, mind you...I'm not much of a gambler) that most people who eat their hamburger or hot dog with a bun don't give a second thought to that bun. It's merely a delivery mechanism. It's a way to keep the meat, toppings, and condiments all contained, and all conveniently pick-up-able in an entirely edible package. If the bun is thought of at all, it's merely considered as an afterthought, nothing more.
In other words, it's all about the meat. As evidence, consider this recent article in New York magazine about Pat LaFrieda Wholesale Meat Purveyors. If you don't want to read the article, here's the main gist: Pat LaFrieda Meats is the meat supplier behind nearly all of New York City's best, most acclaimed hamburgers. They'll do a custom ground meat blend for each customer/restaurant, and the result is a pretty tasty burger. But with all of those words spent opining about hamburger meat, not a single word is given to the hamburger bun on which those esteemed burgers are eaten.
But shouldn't (and doesn't) the bun matter? Do you like it soft and fresh, or grilled with beautiful grill marks, or toasted to a golden brown? Do you like a white bread bun, or one topped with sesame seeds, or my personal favorite from my gluten days long ago...the potato bun. (Oh so moist, oh so soft, oh so tasty...)
We gluten-free foodies have a leg up on our gluten-eating counterparts who take their buns for granted. Sure, on the one hand, we often miss out on eating our burgers and dogs with a bun. But as the saying goes, absence makes the heart grow fonder. Because we so often eat our burgers and dogs sans bun, we have a deeper appreciation for eating them with a bun. Perhaps we miss the gluten buns we used to eat, or we lament the crappy GF bun we're eating now. (A good GF hamburger bun, I've decided, may be one of the rarest GF baked goods on the market...)
It naturally follows, then, that eating a burger or dog without a bun, while possibly inconvenient and messy, is also liberating. There's no hiding behind a big, fat piece of bread. The burger patty or hot dog - in all its glory or all its mediocrity - is left to fend for itself. It shines, alongside the toppings and condiments. If you really want to judge the best burger in NYC, take the Pat LaFrieda signature meat blends, and have each restaurant serve it up without the bun.
Of course, no restaurant would do that. "You can't have a hamburger without the bun!" they'd say. The gluten-free foodie in me would respond, "Well actually, you can. I do it all the time." But another part of me would say, "Righto. The bun is important, so let's give it the respect it deserves."