Thanks for the long answer.
The problem you're talking about is easy to solve: Don't join. Joining an organisation just because someone else did, or out of obligation are indeed poor reasons. I was referring specifically to the cost issue. When sensei registers you at shodan (and you are happy to be a member of the founder's organisation), where does the money go? For example, is it going towards sports cars and lavish lifestyles for certain people or is it paying for aikido to be promulgated?
Nobody knows, there's not much transparancy, and a lot of things move in cash, kind of a recipe for problems to occur (I'm not saying that there are problems).
Anyway, I don't have a particular problem with belonging to the Aikikai right now, but of course that could always change.
More to the point,"don't join" is likely to be an increasingly troublesome problem for the Aikikai as time goes on, and that ought to concern everybody who is a member of the Aikikai.