I'd agree with you there and thanks for your comments. Of course, it was never my intention to imply any particular federation or group have got it wrong for taking a particular amount of time to meet particular grades. My point was that we're all learning different interpretations of the art and that these minimum requirements in the Aikikai are merely a patch of common ground that we can work on together.
Across federations I've noticed that black belts frankly mean something different to them. I knew of this one school that gave a black belt in two years. The belt basically meant you were a member of the school.