I agree with you that aikido is very good and wonderful and can really work.
In regard to "real life, bets are off": I know when real life hits, it's different than the dojo. However, the dojo should compensate for that.
Real life is hitting right now. Besides the nitpicking point that it doesn't compensate, or any other action verb for that matter. The dojo is merely a place where you can better prepare for real fights, but as Larry suggested it's really up to how you are training and for what reason. Most people are not doing aikido against sophisticated attacks, multiple attacks with Kamikazes who will sacrifice their safety to slow you down so that the next guy can wallop you, etc... (You know, the things that happen for real...) If you do work on those things then I stand by what I initially said - that's impressive. If not, then that's probably a good example of an exaggeration.
Either you have rank or not. If you are in aikido, the only one beyond rank would be a doshu. You being beyond rank is probably an exaggeration. If you really are a doshu then that's impressive.
Micheal Fooks: I don't think you know what you're talking about. "Bouncing from technique to technique" is ludicrous. If you get your hands on someone and you can't plant the technique, you used the wrong one. That's not Aikido.
I've read Micheal Fooks on RMA since the early 90s and he seems to know what he is talking about. "Bouncing from technique to technique" is only _ludicrous_ if you are so much beyond the person who is actively trying to resist your technique that they cannot possibly influence what is going on. Talking about it as if you can make that assumption seems to be either very impressive or another example of an exaggeration.
I can go on, but those cover the basics...