As Web publishers, we're responsible for our sites. If we let greed get in the way of common sense, we have only ourselves to blame
You are right .. but everyone is not smart enough to make decisions when a person calls from Google and tells to do the changes. I thought that if they are Googler they know better than me and i followed their recommendations.
Ask anyone, almost 99% owner will follow the advice if that is given by Google and that too over phone. We may ignore emails we receive but we take personal calls seriously, don't we?
But as you say.. we all learn by our mistakes and every bad experience makes us wise only. I have no complaint from Google, it was me who should have given a second thought.