BurgessDonnelly, You said "I think it is inaccurate and unfair to characterize private tree owners as rude and selfish and public tree owners as wonderful sharing people. My primary tree was public for years and I shared freely until many supposed cousins copied inaccurately, creating error-laden trees. "
I totally agree as that is the reason I originally made my tree private. The second reason I keep it private was I had added a lot of "theory" to my tree. After reading scores of threads regarding the "Private vs public tree" issue I finally made a public tree for my "Brick Wall surname".
scorahic, you said "I believe there is still disparity between Public and Private trees, however. Private Trees can view Public trees without invite, but Public Trees CANNOT view Private Trees without invite. Therein lies the rub, and the difference is the reduced level of service and resources from Ancestry.com when a Public Tree encounters a Private Tree. "
I agree but maybe it should be that a function that should be added to give each member the choice to view Private tree or not. That way you could check a box and the Private trees would be gone until you unchecked that box.
What I have encountered recently is thinking folks have private trees because their profile doesn't show a public tree but when I ask they say they have a public tree. On another topic I asked and yes they found out that their public tree was not showing in their profile. There is a fix for that. So check your profile to see if your public tree is showing.