I believe everyone should supplimant their training with reading, research, attending seminars and watching videos. The best teachers in the world may not live in your area but they might have a few tapes and books you can learn a lot from. Joe Lewis just started a new tape series for people who want to train beyond the dojo or can't find a decent school in their area.
But yea, you have people offering you guarantees of mastery and rank. For $300 you can be a master ninja! That's pretty shady. But what do you expect? You know you can't trust ninja. They are tricky.
my kung fu eeeeeees better than yours!