The more things change.....
I've followed this toxic topic for, literally, decades. It have seen the same voices voice the same opinions with something between the same vitriol and the same calm, reasoned discourse. I came to the conclusion, years ago, that IPMS is not now nor ever will be in the least interested in a GSB system because (1) NIH, (2) it's the way we've always done it, and (3) the "real" IPMS long-time modelers don't want it. Some who have supported it have been told, on the predecessor forum, in writing, "If you can't compete with the very best (us and/or me), then don't bother to show up and compete. Stop whining." So, long ago, I shut up. And have increasingly not shown up.
I've previously stated that I can judge either way. I have and I will. I do the best I can under the judging rules. But, I do think that 1-2-3 devalues the very, very good model that is not quite a very, very, very good model -- in one category -- whilst in another category a just barely good enough model competing against entries with multiple serious flaws is recognized with the same 1st as a very, very, very, very good entry. I also think that often, in judging three or four, entries which, for all purposes are identical candidates for third place, that each really deserves some recognition. But, on a wing and a prayer, we have to convince ourselves that one is somewhat, somehow, probably, maybe better. (And, please, though I don't expect my request to be honored, don't come back with the not unusual, "If you can't stand the heat, then get out of judging" comment. I've heard it before.) Makes no sense to me, but that is the way it is.
HST, over the last decade, I've begun voting on this topic with my wallet. Where I used to attend every IPMS Nats and Regional that I could, I now choose to instead attend various figure shows that also have categories for plastics. I enjoy them much more, the spirit is much more collegial and must less cutthroat, there is markedly less chest pounding, and I feel that if I didn't place (the most likely outcome) then my entry was clearly not competitive.
So, I have morphed from a regular Nats/Regional attendee/entrant to an occasional IPMS Nats/Regional attendee who seldom enters and am now a regular figure show attendee who always enters. I could well be alone in my metamorphosis, but no matter. I'm happy with my evolution and now figure I have only about 1-2 Nats left in me.
All in all, I'm burned out on the topic of judging; I've moved on. So, as to this topic and this survey, in the immortal words of Monte Walsh, "You don't have no idea how little I care."