Craig, show me one example of a pizza maker that lost a single shred of individuality by doing paid training. Anyone. When I look at Larry's pies, I don't see Roberto, do you? When I see Roberto's pies, I don't detect any Starita-ness in them whatsoever. Giulio Adriani also trained under Starita. Forcella and Starita a Materdei are universes apart. Our own Andre Guidon took the VPN class with Giulio. I dare you to find any similarities between the pizzas they produce. Mangieri supposedly trained in Italy. Do you see any resemblance between what he does and any Neapolitan pizzeria? Ciro Salvo, who trained with his father, has been known to dabble in whole wheat blends. Do you think his father played around with whole wheat? I highly doubt it.
You're perceiving this potential for cookie cutterness that simply does not exist. Everyone puts their individual stamp on what they create. If someone is passionate, ingenuity is always part of the process- and no teacher can alter that, either here or professionally.
All we are talking about here is knowledge. No one has a monopoly on knowledge. Someone can learn from reading your thread, just as they can learn from paying someone to train them. It's merely a transfer of information, not a branding. With the right teacher, no one gets permanently scarred from a one week paid class, nor are they confined to any particular track by following your instructions you've laid out to the letter.
Are there bad teachers? Of course. Is learning from the volumes of free wisdom found within these walls preferable to paid alternatives? Absolutely. But does it necessarily have to be an either or scenario? We've all seen what Ciro Salvo can do. There's knowledge there, that, because of the language barrier, is most likely never going to make it to this forum. If I were in the process of honing my Neapolitan skills, spoke Italian and had a few disposable dollars, I wouldn't mind acquiring some of Ciro's insight in person. But I'd also spend a load of time with your thread and Marco's posts/threads and all the other people on this forum that have shared Neapolitan knowledge.
And you can rationalize all you want, but this is a class:http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=20479.0
It's a free class, but it's a class. You have students. Very successful students. The only difference between you and a paid teacher is money. Are you implying that money dirties the equation in some way? A good capitalist like yourself?