I've had some time to review the changes and gather my thoughts. I appreciate the fact that GIAC/SANS has taken this step. It is a welcome change.
However, I think there may be a lack of inexpensive options for recertification. SANS is keeping you "in the family" because they are requiring you advance SANS and attend their training courses.
It appears the three main ways to maintain your certification is to attend live training ($4k+), write a gold paper ($300), or retake the test ($300) on top of the cost to recertify ($300). While they have options to submit work experience, write test questions, be a facilitator, be a mentor, etc, you cannot make enough credits on your own to recertify. There needs to be money exchanged with SANS or another training provider (which GIAC will approve or not).
It just seems like there should be more options to give back, without having to open your wallet beyond the money required to obtain the recert. A lot of times I have to come up with unique methods for training and certification, because my work only pays for so much. I feel that I should be able to give back and recertify by being a mentor, a facilitator, an ISC handler, or write test questions as many times as I want without a cap on how many credits I receive for each.
I also wish there was not the two year restriction to start your "recertification". For example, I just obtained my GCIH last year and I am going to be facilitating next week. My facilitating won't count towards my recertification unless I do it in another year and a half.
Just my $.02. feel free to discuss.
CISSP, GCIH, GCIA, C|EH, Sec+, Net+, MCP