I'm sure that sculling has its place in swimming and certainly in the breaststroke and perhaps also in the butterfly, although the straight back pull seems to be flavour of the moment there too. It is also pleasant to do and exercises muscles that don't otherwise seem to get exercised. It's a lot of fun to float on the back and scull feet first down the pool. Some say it improves the elusive feel for the water.
I don't see any sculling in this video of Ian Thorpe, and although it seems to me the pull is near as dammit straight back the hand definitely doesn't follow a straight line. You might like to turn the sound down because the music doesn't seem suitable at all,