I'm new to aikido (not new to the martial arts) and I feel that I have a fairly open mind and am fairly objective - I have absolutely no reason to be otherwise.
I really don't understand why so many people are against Tomiki "sparring". I looked at a few video clips of Tomiki aikido and I don't know what the problem is (no lectures budo and not competing with yourself please). It's not really sparring - it's training. Sure, points are given if your partner gets through to you, but so what?
While reading Matt's thread on "warrior spirit" (excellent topic Matt!) I kept thinking of Tomiki aikido - really testing yourself and your partners, with mutual respect.
I've said many times that I don't agree with "tournaments". This is just testing aikido's effectiveness - the parts that can be tested, that is - which is better than nothing.