If the existence of Deep End does no harm, the existence of arguments against it do no harm either.
My sole point has been, all along, that the "arguments against it" seem rather futile, given that it's all been said before and nothing has changed, nor is likely to any time soon. So haven't we all got better things to do than to be discussing this once more?*
But looking back over this year, even with all its other difficulties, I've posted poems at The Deep End and so have Carol Taylor,Yves SL, Aaron Poochigian, Tim McGrath and Quincy Lehr (since the June Prune). It's not a huge number but it's not exactly a graveyard either. All of the poems received critiques, possibly
a little more 'robust' than on Metrical... I'm not sure, but one of the main purposes of TDE is for "frank comments''. Members are told that "if you feel uncomfortable with close attention and emphasis on craft... then post at Metrical." There is nothing hierarchical about TDE, except in some people's perception.
still attracting new members; I've welcomed quite a few but, as Julie pointed out, I do a lot of the day-to-day admin stuff single-handedly. I don't often post poems as I have a very busy life! (Maybe that's why I resent spending time on non-productive stuff like this!*