I completely disagree with your "greed" theory and I seriously doubt that you have ever run a business of any magnitude or you would certainly know better. When I owned a small business with about 100 employees I can tell you that 'greed' wasn't even mentioned, the word 'survival' was mentioned many times.
It was all about keeping a great product out there that people wanted and used, which allowed us to sell enough of that product so we could make Payroll every week. Do that and our people could feed their families, put their kids through school, pay the mortgage, and make it day to day just like you do. If you want 'greed' look at the politicians in this country as many of them are among the greediest people in the world.
However, I understand your frustration. About three years ago, when the economy was going south, GSI offered a "Passport" training program. You paid $5,000 and for one year you could take all of the training you could attend at any GSI facility in the country. Did you check with GSI to see if this is still in effect?
I know of several people who used it to take every course they needed for full EnCE certification in one year. They took Forensics I, Forensics II, EnCE Prep, and then they took the written test, and if they passed that they took the field test, and if they passed that they were certified. All for $5K instead of the $12K or $15 K it would have taken w/o the Passport Program.
Contact GSI training and find out. The EnCE book someone mentioned is very good but I always think live training with Q&A is better if you can do it.
Anyone have any ideas on how to prepare for the EnCe without spending thousands?
No wonder so many companies avoid CF, it costs a fortune...even to train! I think some of these companies (re Guidance) are greedily jumping at short term profits in place of encouraging a wider use of their products by the business community - ridiculous, especially in this depression.