If anybody had the time, a trawl through all of the rarity descriptions (pre-digital photography) would reveal plenty of description only accounts. And many of these would be for species that were still poorly understood as far as their identification in the field. If today's high standards were imposed on these older records, how many would survive intact? As we carry on in the era of splitting, there are times when to see a bird very well is not going to ever be enough. We will need mp3 recordings and DNA sequencing to get records accepted. I think there is a danger of imposing today's standards on records that were scrutinised (by experts remember) in days gone by. Unless one of these old records has irrefutable photographic evidence that clearly shows a mistake has been made then we ought to leave well alone.
I know the Curlew has always been contentious, but why is it only now being overturned? It is fair enough to assume that the '10 rare men' who initially accepted it did so by studying the facts in front of them and were happy to give it the green light of acceptance. So, what's changed? (By the way, I didn't see the bird in question.)
Will we ever get to a time when, along with your optics and a notebook, to be considered a red-hot birder, you will have to carry test-tubes and a microscope into the field to make sure that your finds will be accepted?