My starters range from 4-5+% (1.040-1.055) and I drink them. These are 5 gallon starters.
I know that I am comming a bit late to the party, although you mentioned a couple of things which interest me.
1. You are making 5 gallon starters. Are you using glass carboys? I would assume that a stir plate would not work well due to the shape of the bottom of the carboy, therefore you must be adding oxygen via a centerstone or what ever method you normally do. Then let it ferment just as a regular batch of beer would. I find this interesting because I am starting to ferment in Sanke kegs. I could create just one starter in the Sanke. Instead of having to go through a couple of starter steps to get to the volume which I need. Once it has completed it's starter phase, rack off the liquid. Add the wort, oxygenate and stream line my efficency. This would be vary helpful when needing to create large starters for big beers.
2. You drink the starter liquid after the process has completed. Of course this is a low grade of beer, 1.020 - 1.040 SG. I have not done this and it sounds interesting. Have you come up with ways to make this more palatable after the beer has been racked off the yeast cake? You must be adding hops to the starter wart for a preservative, since you plan on keeping it. So many questions come to mind, although I will just focus on this right now. I like the idea of a fresh yeast cake to keep the flavors of the beer I am actually wanting to make, not be affected by other background residual flavors. So as an example, I would like to make a Strong Scotch Ale using 1728 yeast, 1.086 SG, 12 Gal, ferminted at 60F. The starter could be 5.25 Gal. boil volume, 5 Gal. batch volume, wort gravity 1.040 from Amber DME, add yeast neutrent, hops same type going into main brew. Hops 1.5 oz. pellet @ 4.5 % AA, 30 minute boil. Total bitterness 16.48 IBU. Cool to 60F, add oxygen, and pitch 2 Wyeast 1728 smack packs. This hopefully should create enough of a yeast cake 706 Billion cells needed for the 1.086 wart to follow, and also add enough hops for preservative, and flavor of the starter beer.
Is this what you do or have you come up with something else to improve the process and flavor?