I'm sure I'm about to get blasted, but I'll offer my opinion. I'm pretty sure I know the shop as I just graduated this course. What's not stated is that this includes tons of work in the pool (which is typical of Intro to Tech and ironically I didn't need), but in addition to that, testing of various configuration options, 4 open water dives going through wrecks, hours upon hours of classroom time, planning, post dive analysis, etc. We practiced a lot of skills to prepare for decompression, such as different types of SMB deployment (or not deploying it but having it inflated, how do currents affect that? How do you maintain control of your SMB instead of just setting it free?), buddy awareness (both going down to the wreck and back up), maintaining buoyancy for future deco stops while having full situational awareness.
I know some of this may sound basic (and it is), but I had very little to no experience deploying my SMB for example, because here in Florida boats are usually tied off to the wreck and you just use the line to go up/down and do a safety/deco stop. In class we were dealing with currents and drifting together. I'll be practicing it from now on while reef diving, but again, the goal is to maintain control, not just shooting the SMB to the surface as it can end up somewhere you don't expect and take you for a nice ride.
Although many here make fun of the Shearwater training, it was actually very useful. I'm extremely technical and I still learned a lot. I will say that if you're a diligent researcher you can learn all of this on your own, but this accelerated the process and made it hands on. For example, we spent lots of time going through decompression theory, gradient factors, review of our dive profiles, our descent/ascent rates, sac rates, basics of various mixes (hypoxic, trimix, high o2 deco gas, etc). Our dives were downloaded and evaluated with feedback. After analysis we figured out how slow or inconsistently we were actually moving through the water column and how to clean that up. Is it a useful skill today? No, it's preparation for where I'm interested in going...
We spent time going through the various types of failures and how much time we have in reality when a failure occurs. The goal is to keep cool, not panic and execute what we've learned, etc.
I can go on, but bottom line is that this is definitely more than just the standard/basic Intro to Tech. Is it necessary for everyone? Probably not, depending on the type of diving you plan on doing. I was doing it with a buddy and although he had over 100 more dives than me and in much more challenging (cold/murky New England) conditions than we have here in S. Florida, he struggled a lot and was asked to practice a lot more before he continue further. He and I are doing 4 dives this weekend so he can practice more with his doubles.
My goal is to explore wrecks at deep depths in potentially less than optimal conditions. We'll be hot-dropping on a wreck in open ocean, having to deal with challenging conditions, low visibility and high currents, etc. If that's the type of diving you're interested in, consider this a bootcamp for that. If your goal is just to get down to see the Lady Luck, but stay there longer than NDL allows, then this may be overkill.
Hope this helps. *flame suit on*