No problem -- I did not take your statements as "put downs". I interpreted them only as frustrations, which I share.
Incidentally, I am a member of a local church of Christ. But, as you know, churches of Christ should be autonomous, having no control or influence over each other. I have attended several congregations with outstanding elders, and I have attended churches, where the elders were not qualified, and it was very harmful to the congregation.
In each case, this was the fault of the people, not the pattern, the Scriptures, or God.
It's interesting to me that there is an ironic justice to this: Since churches appoint their elders, they get what they deserve. If the church is generally ignorant, politically motivated, peace-above-all-else, or militant, etc., guess what they get? Elders that are unqualified, reflections of their individual faults. However, if a church is knowledgeable, wise, truth-focused, evangelistic, etc., they generally appoint elders that meet the Bible qualifications and will perform the job well. ... Some times God grants us hardship, as if to hold up a mirror to those willing to see themselves. And, the only way to fix the problems that collectively frustrate us is to overcome the problems that beset us as individuals. ... Well, please pardon the musings uttered for my own benefit... :-)
BTW, H. E. Phillips' book, titled "Scriptural Elders and Deacons", is very good. There are some points where I disagree with him, but it's an invaluable resource, in my opinion.
Robert Turner wrote lots of excellent material on the church, and many other topics: http://www.wordsfitlyspoken.org/plain_talk
I don't think I have done much for you, but if I can help, of if you just want to talk, please let me know.