I just purchased and watched Advanced Fondant ($20), and I can easily see both sides of the argument about that particular class. A few comments...
Ms Sousa doesn't go into a lot of detail in some areas that I felt really needed more info. For instance, when painting on the fondant or dusting, she didn't mention anything about making sure your dust is meant for consumption, as some of them aren't. Now, it may be that since the course is advertised as ADVANCED that she assumes her audience already has such knowledge, but reading through the questions, it was very obvious that a lot of cake newbies are watching the course.
Also, at the end when she's assembling the cake, she shoves those wires right into her cake. Of course, hers were dummy cakes, but she made no comments about protecting the cake from wires etc.
The fondant work she did *was* somewhat sloppy. The worst was the little single tier. Personally, if I covered a cake and it came out looking like that, I'd pull the fondant off and re-cover it. Yeah, it was bad. I think some of it IS just that she's being filmed (which is nerve-wracking). Her fondant also had been sitting out in the air too long because she was having to explain her steps etc. That stuff looked like leather. And the bottoms of a couple of her tiers DID look really bad, but again, I wonder how much of that is just that she's trying to hurry, a bit self-conscious because she's being filmed, and she's working with fondant that's been sitting out a bit too long because of the filming process. In the finished project, you could see many places where there were nicks in the fondant, fingerprints, uneven surfaces, uneven joins, etc.
I think I (and many others) am spoiled by Sugarshacks DVDs. I've seen her work in person and yes, her cakes are as flawless and excellently executed up close and in person as they appear to be in her dvds. Sharon is a machine lol! Also, I think that Sharon is better at actually TEACHING, not just doing. She has a wonderful way of communicating both the abstract parts of caking (design, etc), and the practical aspects (measuring, etc). For instance, on the first paneled box tier, Ms Sousa doesn't really explain the order for attaching the panels or the lids pieces. There IS a specific order these can be done to minimize seams (back, then two sides, front last), and Sharon explains why. Didn't really get that from Ms Sousa. It's little things like that that really make the finished product shine.
I can say this...I feel a LOT better about the work I do LOL! If she charges $12/serving for her work and it has visible flaws like that, then I certainly feel better about the quality I can achieve.
I won't be asking for a refund or anything. I watched the entire class, learned a few things, and generally felt like I got my $$$ worth. No way I'd pay $40 for this class, though. I agree with a pp...wait for a sale.