...Thunder ranch cost $980 for a 3 day class (not including travel expenses)... this is ridiculous for your average person, I'd rather buy another gun...
Well, as Derek Bok, a former dean of Harvard Law School, said, "If you think education is expensive, try ignorance."
Another gun is nice, but it's just an object. On the other hand, I couldn't begin to measure in dollars the value and benefit I've derived from taking classes (in a variety of things). It's not only a matter of the material taught in the class. It's also the value of the experience -- the people I've met, the places I've been, the new challenges I've dealt with, and the new concepts I've been introduced to.
Yes, Thunder Ranch, Gunsite, Front Sight, etc., are expensive. But if there's a way for someone to swing the expense, it's worth it. And IMHO worth more than a new gun. You will carry with you the experience all the rest of your life, and it will, if you allow it, continually enrich your life long after the new gun is just another gun in your safe.