Chris Sharpe blogged an example of how marking operator bool() explicit neededn’t necessitate any overhead when using that type in a simple if condition:
An expression e can be implicitly converted to a type T if and only if the declaration T t=e; is well-formed, for some invented temporary variable t (8.5). Certain language constructs require that an expression be converted to a Boolean value. An expression e appearing in such a context is said to be contextually converted to bool and is well-formed if and only if the declaration bool t(e); is well-formed, for some invented temporary variable t (8.5). The effect of either implicit conversion is the same as performing the declaration and initialization and then using the temporary variable as the result of the conversion.