I have a question regarding ATP's multi engine program and I am hoping to get some help from anyone who has any insight on the subject. I am scheduled to take ATP's 10 hr multi program in August. I have read thier supplement along with the complete multi engine pilot by Bob Gardner. Today, I decided to call Bob Crystal at Simulator & Instrument Training Center in Van Nuys (Bob writes for Plane and Pilot magazine so maybe some of you are familiar with him) because I heard he rents an Aztec and I was curious how much it costs as well as check out requirements. Bob asked me my total hours along with some other questions and said he would not rent me the aircraft unless I did the training with him or I had the required multi time ( no surprise there). I talked with him about my plans to attend ATP, and that after that I was hoping to gain experience with some other MEI pilots that I know locally. Bob claims that ATP's program is marginal at best and that if I really want to learn to fly multi-engine like a true pro, I should consider another course of training than ATP because according to Bob, ATP's price is a come-on and that most people do not finish for the price claimed by ATP. I know that Bob is a considered an authority, but at 200 an hour(wet) for the aircraft along with 75 an hour to train with Bob, I'm not sure what I should do. Bob told me that if I train with him I could fly on the occasional trips(6-7hrs) that are made in the Aztec (one way) to texas( unpaid...Is this considered PFT?, I don't think it is a revenue trip but I am not sure). I also would have to pay for my own airfare back. I then asked him how many students participate in this program and he indicated that not many and that I would get plenty of chances to fly this trip. Because of the vast experience of some of the pilots on this forum I would like to know what some of you think. Thanks in advance for the advice.