I think you make some insinuations about posters being partial to Phase because of involvement. I would say that all posters have been quite clear about their cooperation with Phase.
I'm pretty sure that PODAS instructors are selected on grounds that they are highly regarded Phase users and also highly regarded photographers. If you check out Guy's web site you see that he has been there and done that.
In my experience, this forum always had a polite tone, having some respect for other posters.
In my view you Fred have posting a lot of good information on several threads, and also this one. Guy is also posting a lot of good information. Now, some information is good, some is bad and some is false. Photography is much about perception, and perception is not always true.
Another factor in this game are tolerances. It is easy to say if something is broken, much harder to tell if it works optimally.
Quite a few years ago Joseph Holmes published an article about precision issues with MFDBs "http://www.josephholmes.com/news-medformatprecision.htm
", that was a while ago but I guess the information is still valid. One observation in that article was that used and rental backs were severely off in register distance. Phase tolerance is said to be 12 microns but as far as I recall Joseph has calculated the error to 150 microns in some cases. Those problems happen, and it is my understanding that a value added reseller can help with that. I guess that they may do some testing and send stuff that is not in good shape back to Phase for adjustment. If you have problems they help resolving, and I got the impression that almost all problems can be solved.
I'm pretty sure 135 equipment is not much better. Lloyd Chambers has found issues with most (?) of his Nikons. Zeiss is selling Comapct Prime lenses to the cine industry at ten times the prices for ZF 2.2 lenses. They are the same lenses, but in a different mount and I guess with tighter tolerances. Getting back to MFD, Lloyd Chambers had Hasselblad for testing on loan from B&H and one of the two lenses he had was badly decentered. One of the lenses for the Leica S2 he tested had an aperture malfunction.
In a sense, 135 must have tighter tolerances as they have wider aperture lenses. An f/1.4 lens requires half the tolerance compared to an f/2.8 lens (simple geometry).
I simply pointed out that there is no difference between Phase One Schneider LS lenses and Mamiya LS lenses. Same design and made in the same factory.
I also pointed out that due to different sales channels you can get better prices from big dealers like Adorama and BH.
Despite the fact that just about everyone knows that BH and Adorama have the best prices in the USA for just about everything photographic
Guy chooses to say I'm wrong.
Sorry but I think it is helpful for readers to know that there are many recommendations on these forum are closely related to who
they are recommending. Readers can make their decisions keeping this in mind.
I also find it rather ironic that advocates of Phase One keep going on about how perfect and reliable the gear is, but then insist
that you need a value added dealer for support and repairs. Interesting that Guy chooses to buy his Nikons from BH Photo.