I hear you loud and clear but I have my two cents' worth to add on this issue as well.
"Remember, Ancestry doesn't have access to all local records due to the varying laws in different states. The restrictions on Tennesse records is absurd in the extreme."
Yes...this true. At the same time, perhaps a few dollars that Ancestry.com gets could go to lobbying some of these local and state governments to change some of these idiotic regulations. The usual excuse for these regulations is privacy issues or identity theft. I would think that if I had to resort to decades-old death certificates to commit fraud, I would be a pretty pathetic fraudster. Ancestry should do a lot more to get records, nough said.
"There is also the fact that States use access to these records as a revenue source and are unlikely to relinquish that revenue."
Indeed, true again. But I can get death certificates and other records from Ohio, Missouri, West Virginia, Arizona, Utah, Texas etc. without paying a dime. This suggests to me that there are records Ancestry could supply and do not make the effort to procure. As for states that use the documents for revenue, again I cite the above examples as freely accessible.
This is not even to mention the scores of books that are in public domain due to age and that do not appear here. Too, I think it would be more fair for Ancestry.com to state openly that "that's all folks" if they have no more to post. Of course, it is a business, and it would be detrimental to them to do so. Call me an idealist.