"Ryan makes money on his guided classes.. not on BPL or probably even his blog. if BPL goes down I don't think it hurts him."
Maybe he's not doing it for the money?
I do not see many people paying 5 bucks to post on a forum that should be free. lots of MLifers have been talking a lot of crap about how "5 bucks is nothing blah blah""
This is an old complaint, so I'll post an old reply. If NOBODY pays anything, how do you expect the forums where you have learned so much to continue operating? It takes a server, telecommunications capability, website maintenance, etc, none of which pops up out of nowhere like one of those schmoos in the venerable Little Abner comic strip. It costs money. So, I'll ask you: Where is that money supposed to come from? Those Mlifer's are talking crap, my friend, they're talking reality.
"I am happy I found the site to lighten my pack and meet a few people but it has always had an elitist feel from the "members and Mlifers" just the fact that normal posters are categorized as "guests" is proof enough."
And yet you hung around long enough to milk the site for what you needed to get back into backpacking, lighten your pack, and meet a few good people, none of them, presumably elitist members. All courtesy of those elitists you malign, who did pony up for the same benefits, a lot more than 5 dollars. I don't get people like you. Maybe it's just a generation gap kind of thing, but I wasn't raised to expect things to be free. As far as I'm concerned, you can complain about what you're getting for the price; indeed, a lot of people are unhappy with the gap between what was promised and what they got, but don't expect it to be free. The world just doesn't work that way.