Hi David V
I read your post with great interest and agreed wholeheartedly. The reality is that there are not many people like you or me who are intuitive and exposed ourselves to other martial arts forms. Some don't even have the interest or inquisiveness to research into Aikido let alone these other arts. They are only interested in chasing after belts and dan grades. Not surprisingly, some of them have never heard of the terms Sen-no-sen, Go-no-sen, Tai-no-sen, Tai-tai-no-sen let alone the precept of Shu-Ha-Ri. Ironically, some of them even went on to open their own dojo. They do not understand the teaching concept and hence, have no clarity on the what/why/how to teach and they cannot hold on to good students who had acquired more knowledge and skill than them.
I attached herewith my understanding of the concept of Shu Ha Ri. It was a thesis written for for san dan grading in karate but I am sure it has relevance to Aikido.
Still searching ..