Consistency is an issue, of course. Small malt houses cannot compete with the equipment and testing of the big guys.
I think the main attraction of the local maltsters is just that - it's locally grown and malted, making the end product a farm to table or grain to glass product. In other words, it is marketing. But it is also small business focused and independent and I am all for small, independent businesses.
(My big brother is doing well with his Double Eagle Malt business in Philly)