Bill do I really have to justify my opinions about lighting to you? If I think that the lighting in a photograph is mediocre or a photo is static, that's my opinion. And if my opinion is valueless then no matter what I say it can easily be ignored. People are free to look at my work, or ask me my rationale, and see if my opinions are based on skill and experience or if I'm just being "petty".
What I find strange is that first you tell me that I'm being "petty" then you tell me not to be so "sensitive". I haven't said anything insulting to you, in fact I think I'm usually very complimentary to you. Are you having some sort of issue with me?
As for how easy or hard it is to make a living in the arts I can't vouch for the ease or difficulties of anyone but myself. To be honest I really can't complain about my degree or speed of success to date. I was able to get representation in NYC the first week I tried and have been represented by quite a few galleries. Some sell work more than others, some pay much faster than others. Some galleries succeed, some fail (9/11 hurt quite a few galleries in the Soho area of NY). That's just the way it is I guess. I don't know if it's been harder or easier for you or for anyone else but I would think that there is no specified success rate or path we all take, it all depends on us individually.