Like Coberg, on one income I can’t justify the expense. For all of their bureaucratic nonsense, I think they’ve some some good things for the White in particular. The Pinkham notch center and the hiker shuttle are two of the best examples. As for the huts… I think they’re grossly overpriced but on the flip side I’ve used their common areas many times on dayhikes for rest, lunch, water, and information.
Re: The AMCs influence on the area – I think the good outweighs the bad if the non-serious hikers that stay in the huts and partake in the programs leave the woods with a better appreciation of such a beautiful natural resource.