The issue isn't that we look like idiots, at least to my thinking. It shows we appreciate the site.
If being able to show his work to folks outside the realm of APUG is important, there isn't much choice. No one will join just to see one person's work.
He should be paying for his membership, and showing his appreciation for the work and value this site provides to everyone. Even before I went back to film, this site was a gold mine of photographic information, and the fee is worth every penny and then some!
Just my thoughts, and again, I hope I'm not out of line!