I suspect that the reality is, those that were really interested, such as yourself, WA4D, went on to become involved hams and never looked back. Others, that did take that route, that weren't really interested, faded away. Just because someone passed the test, doesn't mean they've accomplished much, it is what they do afterwards that is much more important.
I do vividly recall the Bash days. I suspect he made a number of equipment manufacturers happy, but I don't think there was any long term, healthy impact. I also don't think it did much harm, WA4D, being a good example. Wow, learning 22 WPM in that short period of time is an accomplishment.
At one event, I think it was the Boxboro Hamfest, in Massachusetts, I recall Dick Bash had a table in the exhibition hall and he was selling books, cash only and he had customers six-deep. He was doing cash only because it was fast, he was by himself, and he just didn't have time for credit cards or checks. It was amazing to watch! He would take the cash, and make change if necessary and then just throw the money in a pile on the floor behind him. It was a huge pile! I guess he seized the moment, I haven't heard much about him since.
As an author, I can appreciate his success. I think at Dayton, I picked up over 100 new readers in one day, and I was thrilled. I suspect Bash moved thousands of copies on that one day.
Dennis, K1YPP, author of Three Hundred Zeroes: Lessons of the Heart on the Appalachian Trail. An adventure story about one hams quest, carrying a QRP rig the length of the Appalachian Trail.http://tinyurl.com/248ymjg