I think everyone needs to go back a bit in this conversation. take yourself out of it, breathe deeply for a second. AC doesn't owe you anything. I think he's opening restaurants like the Dutch and Lafayette because it's what he wants to do. Read his book, see where his pleasure cortex is. And if it happens to intersect with the profitable ( nee Luke and Josh) more power to him. I dont begrudge wealth and happiness to anyone who's put their time in behind the line, regardless of how you judge their capabilities.
as a critical public, it's fair to say a guy putting a product out is under-performing his abilities. i don't see why food is any different than other things we criticize in that respect. as i said earlier, no one here would be complaining if these places were great versions of the restaurants they are, it's that people here think that they're not.
but you're also right that its AC doing what he wants, for whatever reasons, and not him being forced into these places by an unappreciative public.