Bill, one of the interesting things that I have read about creating new yeast strains is that from the point of inception to the point of introduction to the marketplace can take as long as ten years. See, for example, the last sentence in another article on yeast at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,8912.msg77255/topicseen.html#msg77255
. One of the hottest areas of yeast development at the moment is the addition of Vitamin D, which is also a hot, but controversial, topic on the nutrition scene.
John, on occasion I have called the foodservice side of yeast companies and have had some very nice discussions with professionals who work that side of the business, as opposed to the retail side where the customer service reps know surprisingly little about the technical aspects of their own products. I have never asked for samples, but I wouldn't be surprised that they might give you some if you call and ask for them. You are much more knowledgeable about pizza making than even most professionals, you know the jargon, and can intelligently articulate your interest, so I know that you will come across more as a professional than as a home baker. If you tell them that your interest is as a pizza professional rather than a home baker, you are more likely to get samples.