Field report: I did try flushing the "wand" style toilet at work with my hand yesterday.
BOY, that felt awkward. I really felt like I was sticking my head INTO the john in order to reach. As I mentioned upthread, I was one of those brought up on foot-flushing and never thought of doing otherwise till this thread. I think keeping one's face as far as possible from the toilet spray may have been the original motivation for the foot flush.
Which brings up another "regional difference" aspect: When I have traveled in Europe and the UK, one of the things I noticed was that the average toilet flush seemed much less strong than in the US. Over here, you really get a "WHOOSH" and there can sometimes be a lot of overspray.
I traveled to Germany for the first time this year, and saw a rather ingenious arrangement of wall-button flushers : you pushed the top half for a "light" flush, and the bottom for a "strong" flush, depending on what was needed. I just thought that was so clever and useful, to save water but make sure you can get the job done.