SANS: What doesn’t Work

The SANS Institute has this series of webinar’s called “What Works” where a user of a product pitches it as a solution for some problem.
“SANS WhatWorks is the only web cast series that lets you talk with real
users who have real experience implementing technologies that you are

I watched the first one was it seemed that the guy doing the pitching was more than just a customer of the vendor. It seems like the guy was a partner with the vendor he was pitching. I didn’t hear anything about pro/cons of other solutions or even points of evaluation. I figure his company got a big discount for doing the sales pitch. It happens all the time, customers become “partners”. They sell their company name for a discount on the product.
SANS has sponsors for these events. In the event I saw, the event was sponsored by the product being pitched. This doesn’t sound to me like an unbiased third party endorsement. How can this be considered a “straight from the horses mouth” when its filtered through the vendor?
This is my opinion. This is Rogers InfoSec Blog.