Ah, I really hate all those marketing items. I really do! And note, I'm not saying I like or dislike either type of training style, but I just cannot stand when you are spewed that crap "You NEED to buy this. You will never be able to train your horse without this one lead rope. This is quite possibly the greatest thing you will ever buy for your horse". Because when I was first getting into horses I was having a bit of trouble, and whenever I looked on the internet at Clinton Anderson's site or something trying to find help, all it told me was I had to buy this rope halter, buy this lead rope etc etc, and I was like...what? I really need to buy this? I didn't have money for that kind of stuff and I'm not ordering ANYTHING over the internet. So yeah, I was scared that I wouldn't be able to have a well-trained horse (I know I was stupid, I was very inexperienced =P). Now, when I see those "!!!Buy this halter and it will make all your problems go away!!" ads, I laugh.
I agree 150%. I started watching CA on RFDTV fairly early on, before all the marketing hoopla started. His show used to be just training; if he described equipment, it was along the lines of "Use a snaffle, we sell 'em, mate." Now, it's "You need a Clinton Anderson Signature snaffle bridle rig, mate." The whole "NH Industry" is like a gymkhana pie race - race up, face down through the fluff, find the gummie good stuff, and race back.
Good horsemanship is good horsemanship, no matter who's logo is on the gear, or whether there's a logo or not.
I'm certainly not a pro trainer, but I've solved about every problem my boys have pitched at me with the help of one BNT's work or another (perhaps with my own spin on it), and a no-name saddle, no-name bridle, $5 rope halter, and homemade long line.