So what's the alternative?
Having a level playing field is a good thing, unless someone can come up with a better test than SPC-1. It sure as hell beats the 100% read tests so many vendors like to tout.
It's not realistic to expect people to bring in a dozen platforms(even if they can, a big reason I am a 3PAR customer today is NetApp outright refused me an evaluation in 2006 so I went with the smaller vendor and well I'm happy with the results) to test with their own apps.
When my (current) company moved out of a public cloud provider 3 years ago, we were looking at stuff(of course I have a 3PAR background) and were looking at 3PAR and Netapp at the time. We had *NO WAY* to test ANYTHING. We had no data centers, no servers, nothing(everything was being built new). Fortunately we made a good choice, we didn't realize our workload was 90%+ write until after we transferred over(something I'm very confident that the NetApp that was spec'd wouldn't of been able to handle).
I spoke to NetApp(as an example, I don't talk to EMC out of principle, same for Cisco) as recently as a bit over three years ago and again they re-iterated their policy of not giving any eval systems(the guy said it was technically possible but it was *really* hard for them to do)
Last time I met with HDS was in late 2008 and they were touting IOPS numbers for their (at the time) new AMS 2000-series systems. They were touting nearly 1M IOPS.. then they admitted that was cache I/O only(after I called em on it - based on the people I have worked for/with over the years most of them would not of realized this and called them on it).
So unless someone can come up with a better test, SPC-1 is the best thing I see all around, from a disclosure and level playing field standpoint by a wide margin(beats the pants off SPEC SFS for NFS anyway).
I welcome someone coming up with a better test than SPC-1, if there is one (and there are results for it) please share.