Pondering Associations

Approximately 4 years ago, my club parted ways with our previous affiliation. In the end, we had no hard feelings, it was simply not a supportive fit for us. Since then we have remained independent. We didn't want to jump into a new relationship with another affiliation/organization in a swift/half-assed way, so we we have waited for it to feel right.

I think it's safe to say that most of you/your club(s) are affiliated with organizations like Barra, Alliance, NU, etc...

What I am curious about is, do you see a benefit from being affiliated? Is there a down-side? What makes your affiliation good? If you could choose an affiliation other than the one you are currently in, what would it be and why?

I train at a Carlos Machado affiliate. Having that affiliation gives me access to him at least a few times a year, which would not happen otherwise. If you live in a smaller town and being in an affiliation would bring a high level blackbelt to your school where otherwise you would not have access to someone at that level, then I think it is worthwhile.
If RCJ Machado did not exist, I would be at an Alliance affiliate. They have a school in town and have a great bunch of guys with very good skills. Heading there Saturday for a seminar Phone Post 3.0

This might get more responses over in the BJJ sub-forum; I just realized it was posted in the general UG Phone Post 3.0