Of course, this started its own little mini-drama saga regarding who knows how to best compete within the system, how best to build lists, and a number of other nuisances. It even went so far as to have numerous players to start a thread trash talking Stelek, up until he found that thread and made his reply on his blog.
While I don't disagree with the ETC, there are a couple of rules things I don't like. Primarily, their use of a Rulings Counsel to create a pre-tournament FAQ for use by TO's. This counsel is NOT Games Workshop, so should not try to be by making rule judgments not explicitly stated by GW. 95% of all rules disputes can be solved by reading the rulebook. Another 3% can be solved by reading GW's FAQs. The last 2%, if no one budges, roll a damn die to decide. Its what GW themselves said to do! Do not make up rules to account for this 2%. Home brew 40k is not a game I want to play. Other than that, I think ETC is a fun little thing for players in the International community. Nothing wrong with meeting players from around the world to play with toy soldiers. ;)
With that small amount of background information provided, I'll let you know what I personally think of the ETC. While Stelek would cringe by me saying so, not all of the lists he dismissed were terrible. But most were bad beyond repair. Most team's arguments for what they did was that they were not playing with balanced lists because they did not work in ETC. They were building Rock-Paper-Scissor lists so that they could take advantage of certain match ups. While an excellent theory, most of those lists didn't even qualify as a good rock list either! They did a little of everything, or hardly anything at all. Very battleforce-esque. Bad, bad lists. Even the American lists were not good. But to be far, some teams did put out some good lists. Right off the top of my head, Ukraine had mostly excellent lists. A balanced list can, and will, likely beat any rock list put in front of them. Having duality and balance doesn't mean you aren't good in any one area. It means you have ways to deal with everything, reasonably well.
We're told that in Europe, it is ok to play for a tie in the ETC, as it might end up in the final scores where a tie keeps you in the running with the other team. Obviously, you don't want to lose...but it might be American of me to say that why would you play for a tie? Go for the win, every time! If you were playing casually, that's a different story, but this is supposed to be a Championship tournament. Champions don't go for tie games, it proves nothing other than you are only as good as the other guy is. Not bad enough to lose, but not good enough to win.
It seems to me, that if you're spending all of this money to travel to Europe, you should bring a list and attitude to make the trip worthwhile. If not for yourself, for your opponent. And if not for either of those, to represent your country properly (which, by the way, American players had no choice in our representatives...which is extremely sketchy).
So with that, I wish every team good luck in this year's ETC. I only hope that next year they drop that stupid ETC rules counsel, build better lists, and the players in each country are actually consulted to form their respective teams (rather than picking them without the communities having a say).