Having said all of this, here is my point. If Calvinists had said that God "can" reach the unregenerate, without having to resort to preemptive regeneration, then they could appeal to God's "preference" as a basis for why He chooses a different alternative. However, often Calvinists instead maintain, "...man is so depraved that God must....", which just makes me cringle, due to the way that it seemingly limits God, and seemingly pushes the Almighty into a corner, where has no other option left to Him, but to utilize Preemptive Regeneration.
So my one point in all of this is this: Why don't Calvinists instead say, "man is so depraved, but that is no obstacle to God, who could reach them in their unregenerate state anyway, but due to His preference, He chooses Preemptive Regeneration instead"? So there it is. Why can't Calvinists defer to God's preference? Seriously. Why should the big bad finger of Total Depravity push an almighty God into a corner?
P.S. Often I'm told that I'm simply down-playing the depravity of man, and yet I'm not at all. I'm simply lifting up God's ability to overcome it, by virtue of His own intervention. Now if the discourse should enter into the realm of "well, why then doesn't everyone positively respond to His grace" gets to the nature of free will itself, but is also the starting point of another line of dialogue.)