@justincy - I can't speak for everyone in this thread, but based on my own perspective and how I read the other posts, it appears that yours is not the "lone voice of understanding" of the problem that the C9 crew is trying to address. In fact, several posters made explicit statements of understanding, including:
Several posters, including myself, are suggesting alternative methods that can help C9 address the problems they are experiencing - while retaining support for communities that have been negatively impacted by the current method. (Which I take as implicit understanding of the challenge they are addressing.)
One of the reasons so many of us are taking the time to post to this thread is that we want C9 to be able to continue providing service to these groups. In fact, the current policy may actually hinder C9's growth.
For example, at my group I changed the cloud IDE provider that I used for this week's presentation. I mentioned that one of the reasons we were using non-C9 service, was because of C9's credit card requirement. I also asked people to let me know afterwards whether they would have been willing to sign-up for C9.
I had three people come up to me after the presentation. All three said they absolutely would not sign-up with a credit card in a classroom setting. One of them already has a paid C9 account, but said if I have to switch my presentations over to an alternative service, she'll switch her support to that service. The other two were new and said that the alternative was clearly good enough, and it wasn't worth trying another cloud IDE anytime in the near future. In other words, C9 has already lost two potential customers and if the policy doesn't change they will likely lose some paying customers.
Everyone on this thread wants C9 to be able to service the wide range of communities that it previously supported. To do that C9 has to be a sustainable business.
Preventing misuse (e.g. spambots) and providing credit card-free registration are not mutually exclusive goals. In fact, finding a solution that achieves both goals is in C9's best interest because it will increase sustainability of the business.