I've taken SANS 504 as well as Richard's TCP/IP Weapons School 3.0. I didn't get a whole lot of Mandiant name-dropping in his class or lots of references to China. Either that or I wasn't paying attention.
He just started at Mandiant last year when did you attend Weapons
But since the Mandiant IR class is indeed Mandiant-branded, I have to wonder as well about how much push there will be for their services or the MIR appliance.
I have yet to attend a vendor specific class where their products weren't the "gist" of the training. Again, this is not to say the class won't be or isn't good, I just opt to choose for vendor neutral courses. Its one of the reasons I have stayed away from the EnCe, CCxx (Cisco), JNCxx (Juniper) classes.
I would think that CERT would have a broader reach because of their visibility and collaboration with gov, businesses and academia. They are also considered to be the fathers of IR. Joe McCray has some interesting classes but then we're getting into name recognition based on your signature: Do you drop "Mandiant Training" versus "Joe McCray" training. Personally, I'd opt for something outside the norm (CERT) however, some of the SANS guys if I'm not mistaken train via Mandiant as well.