You know me as an effete flea on the running dogs of socialism, but I have to agree with Col. Alex “Hardass” Wolf. Capitalism rules in this case.
I totally dig how one might decide not to join COPA before making the upgrade decision. After all, we routinely invade countries (or fund aid projects) without knowing facts on the ground. So decision-before-data is practically a sanctioned pastime.
But should you want, for whatever bizarre reason, to actually know what flying/owning a Cirrus is about, it’s fair to expect you to join. Real bucks for real information. (Not to say that we should ignore guest posters. We do provide a great deal of information. But you and I know that the Public Access Forums are the tip of the tip of the iceberrg of knowledge that is COPA.)
Your ‘guest pass’ type of mechanism works for (say) a journalist (where COPA gets exposure in exchange for providing free access). It may also apply to new Cirrus owners who may not otherwise be exposed to COPA forums. In that case though, I believe the seller (Cirrus Aircraft or the broker or the owner) should put a little skin in the game. COPA might subsidize, perhaps.