I think you are absolutely right.
If I have been guilty of making assumptions about the motives of metal detectorists and making statements to that effect, it is because the risks needed to be emphasised - I make no apology for doing so.
Sure, some folks who metal detect might indulge their hobby in a sensitive way, and might even do the right thing with their well recorded, if ill gotten finds.
However, I posted a straw poll
some time ago in After Hours, to assess how people might react to finding valuables.
It's not a valid poll from a valid sample population by any means, but it does hint at something.
Almost 70% said they would keep/sell the finds.
It would be useless to get into an argument about the motivation of metal detectorists - it would amount to nothing but speculation and personal opinion, we've seen this already.
Are the posters here in favour of metal detecting a representative sample?
I think not, I think most of the posters here have demonstrated a genuine concern for our heritage and are probably motivated by interest rather than greed - but again this is speculation, or making an assumption as Mountainsandh puts it.
If the interest is there, why not channel it into helpful, non invasive investigations?
This is a brilliant time of year, probably the best, for spotting and recording earthworks and features.
Why not make a contribution by trying to find unrecorded sites, and making the locals and the landowners aware of them?
Walk recently ploughed fields, with the landowner's permission, of course, and identify clusters of pottery sherds or building materials.
Note the co-ordinates of any such clusters and anything else of significance.
Photograph and write something about the results of your exploration
There are plenty of contributions to be made without being invasive.
That would be real treasure, that would be the best contribution any enthusiast could make.