Hi Mike -
Well, no, they're not. Think about it for a moment. You've been on this journey for the better part of your life. If you could have developed your internal skills to the point they are now earlier in life by simply meeting the right person with the skills to teach you to develop power in a much shorter time would you have? Would you have been able to deny yourself the opportunity?
I know that the person I was back then would have jumped at the chance. I also know, and isn't hindsight wonderful sometimes, that it would have been a mistake for me to do so. The much younger me just flat out was in no position to handle the power the older me has developed over my years of training. Recognizing this about myself has lead me to wonder if anyone else has given any thought to whether or not it's a good idea to acquire robust ki power relatively quickly.
Ron, your initial questions (which are expressed in the subjunctive mood) indicate a couple of assumptions. First of all, I'm not convinced that you yourself have "robust ki power" (based on what you and your students have posted over several years), so the relationship between ki power and spiritual development becomes moot, insofar as your opinions go.
Bear in mind that there are all sorts of levels of these skills. I've met some Aikido people that can do a few kokyu/jin things, here and there, but I wouldn't say they have full-blown powers by any means. My first comment, in fact, would be that it's a *long* row to hoe to get to "robust ki power" that covers a wide spectrum. There is no shortcut that you have to worry about stunting the spiritual growth of students.
As one of my teachers told me, "it is very deep", this study of the qi/ki skills. If you look at it, Ueshiba and others have commented how many years it took them to get to where they are. You might look at their spirituality, too.
Secondly, if your own powers are limited, perhaps it's too soon to speculate about spiritual development in others?
But to answer your question, sure... I'd take the shortest route to real knowledge (not superficial knowledge) that I could find. Because there's always more to do. I.e., this worry about a shortcut is misplaced. Even with direct information (and don't forget that there is no westerner who can give you all the information; they're all still looking, too) it's going to take a lot longer than most people seem to think. Frankly I'm astounded that so many people think there is some shortcut and that they're going to take a seminar or two and "be there".
And the ones who think they're safe making vague efforts every now and again? My comment several times has been... "time is flying; there is a good chance you're going to miss the boat".
You see my point, Ron.... there's not enough time. Worrying about "getting these skills too soon" is about as misplaced as a 4th-kyu guy posting his worry about whether the awesome power he has in Aikido might be used to harm some miscreant.