My dd's 31 mos. and has been in cloth her whole life except for a few trips. She is still not potty trained, but she is very much aware of her bodily functions. We just recently attempted to potty train her and I was using pull ups for awhile. She treated them the same way as cloth training pants. As soon as she peed she would take them off, declaring them wet. It was the act of going, not the feeling she had afterwards. She is used to cloth dipes and before her potty awareness she could care less about being in a soggy terry dipe. Now she's in Onesize dipes with no covers and when she pees she takes those off immediately and puts them in the pail for me, so I'm saving $$ over pull ups.
I don't believe kids should use pull ups or whatever until they *want* to potty train and until they are using them the way they are meant to be. i.e. able to pull them off to use the toilet or when they are wet/dirty. Some kids take a lot longer to learn this stuff than others, but sounds like that little boy should still be in diapers if he could care less about using the potty or being wet. Sounds like his parents put them on him as part of wishful thinking.
7yo: "Mom,I know which man is on a quarter and which on is on a nickel. They both have ponytails, but one man has a collar and the other man is naked. The naked man was our first president."