Funny you should mention it, I just completed ASA101 course
I wouldn't "brag" about it though, it's more an indication of how "green" I really am, not the other way around.
I didn't mean to sound ungrateful for the advice, and I do understand your point. It's just that I don't think it's the only way to learn, although I fully accept that it may be the best one.
Although I'm very new to sailing, I've been a car driver for 20 years, so I'll try to compare to that. I drove different kinds of cars, from 300hp tuned sports cars to delivery trucks, different conditions, from highway cruising, to mad Paris driving, to club time trials on the track. That still doesn't qualify me as an expert, but I do believe I have enough experience to appreciate the insight driving a small sports car gives you, that feeling of being connected to the road, getting feedback that helps you understand the consequences of your actions. Ideally, everyone should learn to drive by getting into a go-cart, as that gives you the most feedback. Unfortunately, it's very seldom the case and you can become a very good driver even if you drive an SUV, all you need is a desire to learn and proper instruction. Safety is, of course, an issue and should be taken very seriously, especially when there're passengers or other people on the road are involved. Practicing trail breaking on a freeway in the middle of rush hour is hardly a sane thing to do, but doing the same thing on a track with an instructor in the passenger seat would be very useful.
Now, does all this relate to sailing as well, or am I way off? If I am, I would be grateful for any insight. In my, admittedly uneducated, opinion starting to sail on a 27' moderate displacement boat would be like staring to drive in a Camry. Probably not the best choice, but far from the worst. Am I wrong to draw that parallel?
All that said, I do appreciate all the feedback, I really do. I just reserve the right to respectfully defend my own views on the subject, however naive and baseless they may be.