I voted "right amount of time and resources". I am getting the impression from this thread that the poll question was an indirect way of probing why people enter competitions (and maybe would have been better posed that way). So I'll address both.
Time and resources - I don't see anything out of line here. It has been adequately explained by those in the know that the time and resources are relatively limited at the NHC. Lots of artisanal crafts have competitions - for example, cheesemaking, baking, farm animals, big pumpkin contests...it is not unusual for at least some segment of the people involved to want some way of measuring where their handle of the craft stands against others. So I have no problem with the AHA's relatively limited application of resources toward the NHC. It sounds like in some cases, homebrew clubs put a lot of resources into competitions, but this should be separated from the AHA's investment of resources.
Why are people interested? Speaking for myself I enter foremost to get feedback on how to improve my brewing and my process, and I have definitely succeeded here. Yes, some competitions have provided better feedback than others, but I have found more often than not the remarks from judges to be very thoughtful and in the spirit of helping me improve my brewing. I admit that I also have a competitive side, but to me any ribbons I have won are validation of research, experimentation, and work to improve and control my process.
If there are others like me who have these interests (and given the responses, I know at least the feedback part is shared by others who enter competitions), then what is the problem with devotion of a limited amount of resources, if it seems to be something that promotes (good) brewing at large?