Well MBS, or can I call you Grant. Like some others, I have perceived your behavior to be confrontationally arrogant, hypocritical, poorly articulated, and unneccessarly contrary (and you are the worst speller in the WORLD), BUT I really like your passion. You really make me laugh with your intensity, even though a lot of it seems misdirected (that's part of what is so funny).
I too get annoyed at the heavily monied folk who can afford to just buy all manner amenities, and how, to a large extent, the industry caters to them. I agree that there are people who don't have the passion about skiing that you feel should be the central focus but let's face it, in the same way that snowboarders have helped maintain ski areas with their money, so have the rich "hobby skiers" who only make it up a dozen times a year, and spend a bunch of money on their under-used condo and lessons from a PSIA instructor. Maybe they won't ever get out of skiing what you or I do, but in their own way, they keep the lifts running.
While I agree that everyone needs to develope their own style, I really think that instructors only offer tools that funnel new skiers into the developement of their own style; people are usually stubborn and will do things their own way to some extent. I took my last lessons about 28 years ago, but those lessons gave me a platform on which to develope my own style. I expect that for those who desire instruction, the framework that the PSIA offers, allows them a crutch to lean on until they develope some independence, and it probably prevents many from quitting over the frustration of not being able to learn on their own. So I think instruction is crucial to maintaining the number of skiers on the slopes.
Personally, I can't afford to go on ski vacations at those big fancy ski areas with high speed lifts (thank God the Mountain is twelve miles away). I ski at a small resort with two, slow motion, two seaters (no we don't have safety bars
), where 95% of the black terrain is ungroomed. You'd probably like it.
I hear you on your frustration about the glitz and what not, but hey, everyone's got a different idea of what's fun, and you won't convince them otherwise by bashing what they're into. Most of the people at epicski (including the instructors) are very passionate about skiing, and railing on and on as if everyone here but you is wrong won't convince anyone of your perspective, nor will it make you any friends. Take care sport.