If you lug the engine, you will hear a rumbling noise from the piston skirts hitting the cylinder walls. You'll never convince me that a noise like that doesn't have any wear or damage associated with it.It's not abuse. It just won't go. The ECU adjusts the timing, fuel, and cam advance to prevent any damage. The whole high load, low RPM damaging motor concern is so dated and no longer relevant.
I wish you were right about the ECU preventing engine damage from lugging. If I were responsible for tuning the engine I would prevent the throttle from opening in that situation. The timing, fuel and cam advance are not enough to prevent the rumbling noise from occurring at low rpm, high gear, accelerator pedal stuffed to the floor. The ECU doesn't do that.