It's all in who you know.
I think the AFA grades "on the curve" for big dogs like Brian Smelling and Cloud City because they probably send items in "bulk" for grading.
Just like politics baby!
That's a really good point Ruiner... And it wouldn't surprise me in the slightest. Who's to say the AFA people aren't being dishonest, ya know? But... People seem to feel a need to have others judge their stuff instead of judging it for themselves. If I had such a lack of faith in myself in this hobby (I mean, vintage is a tough hobby to know inside out, but modern? Sheesh!) I think it'd be time to hang it up... People really need to work on their confidence/self-worth issues I think...