Ok, so now that I completed my redesign, my new mission is to revisit blogs I formerly wanted to comment on. And I find that my perspective has changed.
Three things are different.
1) I actually have Sisterlocks of my own, so many of my opinions are no longer theoretical/hypothetical. They are based on the facts of my own experience.
2) I've done done it now...So when I read comments and observations of ladies who say they wish they had or hadn't made certain choices and/or established certain habits, even though part of me goes, "Oops...um, I didn't think about that..." In most cases it doesn't matter. I've started this journey and there is no turning back.
3) I'm reading the comments more thoroughly. The first time through I concentrated mainly on the posts by the blog authors. I usually didn't read the comments unless the original poster posed a question or solicited advice or opinions.
...And I'm just amazed at the diversity of opinions (in a totally non-judgemental way).
For example, I went back and read Creyole's posts about her parts. Personally, I sort of liked the zig-zaggy parts. I thought they had character, but I completely understand all of her reasons for wanting to change them, not the least of which was wanting to get what she paid for when she decided on Sisterlocks.
One of the main differences between going to a certified consultant or trainee and going to a sistergirl around the corner with a Nappylocks tool or starting your locks with braids and other methods is the emphasis on precise parting. You aren't just paying for the pattern (because that part of the process is not so unique and really isn't a secret that cannot be very easily discovered.) You are paying for a standard that all consultants and trainees are supposed to adhere to and care about and be accountable for.
I also read this post by blackluvdmom . (This has been sitting in draft limbo for a while, but I decided to finish it and post it for real after seeing this post by dstdiva. She was a little unhappy about her parts.)
When I used to do my own two-strand twists, I never worried about precision parts all over. I did always have a straight center part and I made a few straight rows on either side of it, so it would "fall right" on top and I could neatly switch sides or twist it back. And I did continue the center part down to my nape, so that if I wanted to wear two pigtails or puffs, I could, but beyond that, I would just grab what felt like an appropriate amount of hair to make a twist and go. It already took me a minimum of three hours to do and I felt like just wasn't worth the extra time and the extra step of using clips to hold it back - especially when I was going to take it down and start over in two or three weeks.
Which I understand is one of the differences with SLs and why extremely exact parting is more important to some. You will not take them down in a few weeks. You may very well have them for the rest of your life and for a period of some years at the very least. Neatness does matter more. The parts are essential to being able to achieve certain styles. They are vital to the oft-mentioned versatility that sets SLs apart.