Re: Training at Hombu - is it worth it?
Not much different than the difference between a dojo in New York and a dojo in Seattle, or a dojo in Milton Keynes and a dojo in Manchester. I've trained with some very strong teachers in Japan that made some western teachers look tame, I've trained with some western teachers that made some Japanese teachers look tame, it's all horses for courses.
As an inidvidual, you have the choice to go to any location and try it out, if it does for you, then you can choose to continue, if it doesn't, look elsewhere. It doesn't matter whether it's Aikido or Karate, judo, whatever, different dojo's have different appeals too the individual, whether that be the "style" they are teaching or the sensei that's teaching. It serve's no real purpose to pooh pooh any dojo or any Instructor (unless they are blatantly out of order - brutal, ripping people off, claims of grandeur etc.), your experience will not be the same as mine.
Personally, I enjoyed training at Hombu whenever I went there, had some good partners and some not so good. Had good instruction too. As for Doshu being more of a businessman, I don't know, but does it matter? I've been in his classes and I've uke'd for him, I like his Aikido very much, as long as he continues to teach I really don't think his business accumen is an issue, nor is it really my business, remember, I can choose to go elsewhere.
There's no problem asking peoples opinion, but take them in context, like I said, time to stop pooh poohing places, if you're intrerested in training somewhere, go try it, make up your own mind from your own experience.
Merry Christmas to all.