PageLines is an ecosystem with many developers working together to create products and services to help others build websites. We have third party developers who have created extensions, blogs and tutorial sites for the community to use. That does not mean that they are all owned and operated by PageLines. PageLines Academy was funded, developed and is currently operated completely independently of PageLines Inc. Subscription fees paid to PageLines Academy go to Groundwork which pays its staff and the operating costs of running the service. PageLines Inc. doesn't receive any revenue from PageLines Academy subscription fees.
The only link between PageLines Inc. and Groundwork is me. I've been public about my involvement with both and I don't see it as a conflict but as an opportunity. Companies work together on mutually beneficial opportunities all the time. In fact, every third party extension, external blog or community site and service around the PageLines ecosystem is a partnership whether formal or informal. PageLines, and much of the WordPress ecosystem works this way; together.
As to the final points in your comments:
1. We've made it obvious in the footer at PageLines Academy that Groundwork runs it. http://cl.ly/image/1D3Y0A3T1W3S
2. As recently as a few weeks ago there was an update on the blog talking about support at PageLines. http://www.pagelines...ing-a-makeover/
3. See the post in #2 for how our support environment works. It was also emailed to every single person who gets PageLines emails.
4. Apply the code that's provided in any textbox or text accepting option in PageLines (like iBox text areas, Media Box title, etc.). You can use the post/page editor in WordPress as well to add any button shortcodes and they will work.
5. PageLines invests a lot of resources in support and I can tell you that they continue to invest more. I'm not sure what it's like at Intuit but if you've ever bought a theme for WordPress from one of the other marketplaces, chances are their support experience falls well short of what's offered by PageLines. PageLines may not have the video environment that PLA does but they've got a huge and helpful community here on the forum, a knowledgebase that is updated all the time, installation documentation and a quick start guide to help you get going. Not to mention you'll get a response every time you email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Again, thanks for the feedback, it's helpful for us and we'll review that answer to see if we can make it clearer and we'll update that asap.