Sounds like someone is suffering from rocket envy.
It's not suppose to be a personal question & did not ask about your "rocket budget". This a fun little poll with no hidden agendas.
I think that you read too much into my post. I was identifying some constraints.
I remember the earlier version of the poll, and I posted just a simple answer to it back then. I am not being critical of the poll at all, C.O.B.H.C. I was quite impressed with the answers to the earlier poll, and I'm interested in seeing what comes up in this one. Like its predecessor, the individual posts are fascinating. The set of bars at the top of the page just need to be put in context, that's all. But like probably everyone else who reads this poll, I want to see what other people have achieved as their personal alt. records. I'm also interested in seeing what they achieved them with, too.
I failed to mention that my own altitude record of somewhere in the neighborhood of 4,000 feet was done with a 1.6x upscale of a FlisKits Midnight Express made from 3 layers of tightly rolled and compressed cardstock and papered basswood fins, 19" long x ~1.18" dia., launched on an AT F25-9 in April, 2006.
You don't need a K motor to go 10k , & yes you can do it on an I motor which is far cheaper....
But I don't think that you can do 10k on a mid-power G, if that is the largest motor that you are certified to use. And not if the largest field that you can fly in only has a waiver to, say, 4,000 ft.
And budget can absolutely be a major constraint as well. Paying $150 for a reloadable motor and another $50 for an I reload would constitute a rather significant investment for many people, not to mention the cost of the minimum diameter carbon fiber rocket that would have to be built to reach 10k on that reload. And then you would need to add in the cost of an altimeter, maybe even two alts for redundancy, plus the tracking device and receiver, etc. (Because you really wouldn't want to lose that CF rocket. Or your avionics. Or your motor.) But if your aim was slightly less ambitious than hitting 10k on an I, such as, for instance, breaking a mile, you could of course do that for a lot less cost. Of the three constraints, budget has the biggest fudge factor, so I really didn't want get into it too much. It is one issue, though.
I'm Certified L3 & don't fly M's at every launch & reach 15k on each flight either.
I don't think that the poll was asking about the highest altitude that people routinely launch to, and I wasn't referring to that, either. To rack up an impressive number in the altitude derby, one needs to have the ability to plunk down some green for a capable rocket and motor, be certified to fly some of the larger motors, and have access to or can travel to a launch event that is being held on a bonus-sized piece of real estate with a tall waiver. That's just reality, not a political statement. There are no hidden agendas here. I do agree with some of what you said; there is indeed a fair amount of wiggle room within the first two constraints (size of investment and one's cert. level), as you indicated. Of the three that I mentioned, most often it is the third constraint (size and location of field) that has the biggest effect.