I think you are fooling yourself if you think the winners of the NHC are the best of the best when many, many people were shut out of entering all together. This year it will be the best of the best of people who were fortunate to get a slot. Might as well make it a random lottery.....
I don't think anyone is fooling themselves, but to say that winning a medal doesn't grant you some standing because you were lucky to get in when others didn't is a little insulting. I definitely admit I am not the best of the best, but do the best I can and try to improve. Many of the best brewers out there don't even compete, so what does that say about last year's winners? Again, some got shut out which is unfortunately, but entering beers that I've been brewing over the past 6 months in preparation for the competition was a priority to me. So I made sure I was available when registration opened. And I do not "carpet bomb". I had two other beers I could have entered but didn't because I didn't feel like they were worthy.
What about the brewers who don't attend NHC because they can't afford it until it's in their backyard so they can limit the expense of travel, and share a room with 3 other people to cut down on cost? If they decide $30 is too steep for a brewing competition, is there beer not considered the best of the best?
And it's because we are willing to spend hundreds, even thousands of dollars to attend the greatest homebrew event in the world that we balk at increasing the cost even more by doubling the entry fee for competition. Again, if it happens, I just won't enter. But I will still attend NHC and have a great time.
NHC is one of the comps I try to enter each year. Other ones I will enter will either be local, or if someone I know from The Brewing Network is calling for entries and it fits my timeline.
Based on the responses from Tom, Ron, Fred, and others, I know the opinions on both sides will get their day in court and hopefully the outcome will benefit the membership as a whole.
edit: although I think Tom will take a position opposing me because he hates Belichick