And I agree with you, but with all the discrepancies I hear about judging on here, is a winning beer really always a winner or just a lucky day.
In any event, I still don't think entrants should be given comments during the judging process. It also sounds as though some people get theirs early and have ample rebrewing time, while others don't. How can that be fair?
If you win in a competition I think it is a combination of a good beer and luck. That's just the way it is. In my opinion, a single medal doesn't automatically make you a good brewer, but repeatedly getting medals does. Kind of like home runs, Babe Ruth didn't get one every time he stepped up to the plate, but he got a lot over time.
As for the comments, maybe it isn't fair that some people have more time than others. We could theoretically hold all of the comments until everyone is ready to send them out, but I think that would irritate a lot more people than would be happy about it. Remember, people can always enter the same beer in a different contest, get their score sheets, then re-brew for the second round without even seeing the comments they got in the first round.
I think what makes it fair is that everyone has the same opportunity. And doing as the judges suggest won't necessarily make your beer better for the next set of judges, they might have preferred the first beer. To some extent, entering competitions is a crap shoot for that very reason. Also keep in mind that many judges are boneheads. A friend of mine got a score sheet back from the first round that had 5 words on it - there were more words listing the judges name and the style of beer. You could just as easily get a densely written sheet where the judge is completely wrong. Or you could get sheets where the judges sound like they tasted completely different beers out of the same bottle - it's happened to me . . . how does one judge find the beer bone dry and the other cloyingly sweet?