Whether it's more or less difficult to get, depends on who you show under and what the situation is in your region.
In some regions they're relatively easy to get, in others, not so much.
Some years ago they were easier to get, but as shows get more competitive, they're no so easy to get, other than the bronze medal.
Scores go down as you go up the levels, so a silver is harder to get than a bronze, and a gold is harder to get than a silver.
It does indicate a person was able to get those scores, and not just once but repeatedly.
As far as just being for amateurs, if people are advertising their services as professional trainers and instructors, and listing their medals on their websites, it's more than for just amateurs, it's a marketing point.
Last edited by slc; 02-26-2011 at 02:23 PM.