fnunderful -nek -
The one thing I hate about the belt thing is that, if you ever teach or want to open your own gym, your rank is an important thing to newcomers. I think anyone that's trained a while realizes that a belt is only good for holding your pants up, and mat time, continual learning, and abililty to convey information are what counts, but good luck trying to sell that to some people. They want a "black belt". Best instruction I ever got was from a purple belt and a guy that was a 2-stripe blue that did a ton of no-gi, but you have to be willing to try them out to figure that out.
best coaches i've had were all BB...I know a lot of good coaches that are lower but they always have great black belts behind them. I've learned most from lower belts (just because these are the guys that i had access to on a regular basis) but it is always a black belt that gives me that "ah ha" moment on why certain techniques aren't working for me.
I'd say this is most often the case. However, my overall point is that years training should be the consideration and not just the color of one's belt. More often than not, these things have a strong correlation, but the belt shouldn't be the focus and I'm amazed at how many grown men are concerned with strips/belts vs. learning and self-improvement.