Thank you all for the replies, I appreciate the time you spent to provide a comment.
Everything I read says that when you attain Shodan, you basically know enough to know that you don't know much. So, I don't see why there needs to be six ranks below the rank where you know that you know nothing.
My Sensei actually solidified my belief in a recent class. He commented to the effect that in Japan, new students spend the first year as an uke. Only after that time are they allowed to actually learn the techniques. He further commented that this style wouldn't work in America, where we all want instant gratification.
Again, thanks for your comments.
There are many of us that hold the philosophy that once you reach Shodan that is the point where you "start to learn" per se. Not exactly the way I want to word it but I won't get into a whole typing out a long explanation here.
Regardless of your personal belief or the belief of your Sensei, your Sensei still requires those 6 tests to achieve Shodan so if that is your goal then these are the steps you must take to achieve that goal.
Also, remember Shodan should not be a "goal", because it is the rank where you have enough knowledge to truly begin to understand. So enjoy the journey, the entire journey, including the 6 kyu steps to get you to Shodan. Then enjoy the steps beyond that as well.