This thread has quite frankly been fascinating - from a sheer entertainment standpoint, if nothing else. And I'm gosh-darned impressed with how much knowledge of language theory seems to be out there.
I'm with Steaphan on this one - and his first question I think was never answered: "How exactly does all this linguistic chat help learners learn Gaelic?" It leaves me wondering the same thing, at least as far as vocalizing the language is concerned.
Apparently, listening and repeating or trying to re-create the sounds heard in recordings is an approach doomed to failure. Never mind that it's worked very well for many people, it clearly does not work for some.
Trying to decipher the linguistic notation for sounds seems to be a long study in and of itself - or at least the same effort as learning the notation for a new language - and the conventions one could choose from seem to be plentiful enough to be confusing as well.
Where does that leave the learner who is trying to get past the "advanced intermediate" stage? I don't think I've seen one bit of advice that would give one hope of ever getting it right. In fact, if I were in the position of having a good grasp of the grammar, vocabulary, and a fairly good ability to form sentences, and I came to this list looking for pronunciation help, I'd seriously think about giving up in light of this current discussion. It would seem hopeless.
Those of you who are fluent should spend your time to provide constructive ways for these students and enthusiasts to advance, in my opinion.