I'd go with these comments. I've known several talented instructors who seem to have quite poor students; in my opinion because the students are trying to copy the instructor and not getting a good enough understanding of why the instructor is like that, or a good enough grounding in basic (even static) techniques.
I have wondered whether the 3 stage aikijitsu approach is actually better - with the strikes and more linear form to start, then less atemis and more blending, and finally complete blending.
As I've learnt more about aikido I've realised just how important and amazing some of the techniques are, however you have to consider the options available to both you and the attacker during the technque before this can be fully realised.
However, if you consider how long it took ueshiba to improve to what we would consider 'aikido', maybe its not feasible to follow the same path?