Sorry... but if I am spending money on a guide, I will take the younger guy right out of guide school that takes his job (and my trip) seriously over the college dropout that moved out west to become a "Trout Bum". Plus, I don't have to worry about my guide being to high to function, steal my beer or fall asleep in the boat when he is suppose to be spotting fish for me.
I very respectfully disagree with pretty much everything you said but I will just quote that part because I like it.
Cutthroat Anglers is probably the nicest shop I have ever been in, and I have no problem with Trapper John MD or whatever the fuck that guys name is.
If they were running a guide school for their guides, then great idea good on ya nice for the outfitter to mold their guides into what they want them to be.
But to market these "guide schools" the way they do is bullshit. Is it like any other form of higher education are there prerequisite classes or are they just taking $1800 off of any shmoo that shows up cash in hand till they fill the class. The world is not fair, there are not enough guide jobs available for every kid that has the pipe dream of being a guide. You want to guide PROVE IT!!! Throw your life completely out the window and pursue it on your own. You know you are going to have to have CPR/First Aid so knock that out first. You also need a reliable vehicle that is respectable enough for the clientele of the shop you are guiding for, these are Doctors/Lawyers and their families, lots of guiding gigs you are not going to have to rely on your vehicle, but always assume that you will. Do your own fucking networking, live eat and breathe fishing in the area you are interested in guiding for at least a year, get a shit job that you do not care about or mooch off your parents do whatever it takes. Go to the shops and the bars and get to know the guides, ideally become roomates with them. In Summit County CO I recommend the Gold Pan In Breck and the Moose Jaw in Frisco, spend a bunch of time in Hartsel and Parshall also. Buy a raft or a drift boat depending on your rivers and do a shit load of floats with your new found buddies. Get whatever certification is necessary.
From there it is on the individual, if you want to introduce people to fly fishing badly enough you can make it happen. Six days and $1800 aint gonna cut it. You have to drop out of society at large and immerse youself in the fly fishing sub culture of the place you are interested in guiding, whether you are a good guide or not depends on you as an individual but shitty or not if you put your heart and soul into it you can make it happen.
I wonder what Stu Apte would have to say about guide schools, successfull commercial pilot who risked everything to become a world famous Tarpon Guide.
If you are not willing to drop out of life as normal folks understand it and be a trout bum of sorts... Stay out of it.