I just posted a message on another Steiner thread, but I'll say it again...
I befriended one of the Steiner staff last year. I learned that a lot of the girls had just finished the training course in the UK...they were complaining that their wrists hurt because they weren't used to giving massages all day. My therapist said that the pros were giving the new girls lessons at night, helping with techniques. So while you and I were fortunate to get the pros, someone else might have gotten a tired, inexperienced, sore, new person. Also, the girls are responsible for their own treatment rooms. My therapist kept hers immaculate and even offered me her CD player and some Richard Marx to enhance the experience. But who's to say they all do, or that they get the chance to clean up in detail between the clients. My therapist said that she sometimes didn't get lunch and could only manage a bananna between people.
Only after my wonderful treatment last year did I realize that the service I had gotten from a different therapist the year before was sub standard. Honestly, I couldn't believe the difference and I had the same treatment both years!
As for the pitching of product...I agree that you should expect it. That is part of their job.
All I know is that I would really regret spending $$$ this year and getting anything less than the service I got last year. So, since noone can guarantee the experience, I'll be spending my $ on jewelry.