I find this thread challenging because I really sympathise with both sides to some extent. I think it is important to remember, in this particular conundrum, that it may not be enough for discourse to be rational and polite on the surface.
OK, play with those if you like or add some more, there sure are...
I agree essentially with what Nicholas described in his full post above. Rather that adding to the mix I have just posted a picture of my teachers over my life in Aikido. This is a composite of the two me's, now and much earlier, along with the individuals that affected my practice over the years the most. These individuals are here because I had personal on mat experiences that altered my search. Four of these individuals have moved on while I still have close connection with three of these individuals. What these individuals did for me, besides a unique experience(s) was to open up my search, to look around, to test the waters and to taste the varied possibilities that were out there.
What saddens me the most is that closing down by most of the adventure of exploring and learning......and from that how to incorporate what you have experienced into one's art. I am having an interesting time in trying to incorporate what I am getting from Dan into the general Aikido drills used in the dojo to add some value to practice. I would also say that what I have gotten from Dan has helped me in better understanding some of the unique experiences I have have with my teachers earlier.
OK ok, I will add entries to Nicholas's set.............
Assigning Value without Experience
: Writing folks off without actual interaction, without valid experiences or with enough interaction to place real value. This goes both ways of course. You can have enough trust in someone who has had experience to then except that someones placement, though nothing replaces real experiences. Of course you have to make yourself available for these experiences and be ready to travel.
Reevaluating Our Experiences
: Sometime along the way we should take a look at our placement values on individuals.....see if they still hold up or not. This can result in them going both up or down. This may change your schedule. May mean letting go of some things or adding others.