I'm not into cuddle piles with strangers either. I like cuddling only with people I'm intimate with (that is partners). I can imagine being willing to cuddle with a female I'm very very close to, but I can't imagine that happening too often.
I agree that cuddling is the more intimate act: sex has the option of being mechanical, loveless, without that much contact. Cuddling not so much. By definition it's tender, deliberate, affectionate, slow and there is a lot of contact.
Cuddling is an act that makes you vulnerable in front of other people, and I would need to really trust anyone I'm cuddling with. I think cuddle piles are a cool concept, and much better than a fighting pile or whatever, but they don't sound much like my thing. I think I'll stick to hugs and hand shaking.