I know all the numbers. I understand the concepts of EV, ROR.... I know card-counting works while progression doesn't, and why.
But, let's look at it from a new angle.
A typical card-counter would have 1% edge over the house, and would accept ROR of 5%. For every $10 he bets, there's a 10 cents positive expectation of profit. Among every 20 players like him, one would go broke before doubling up his bankroll. Mathematically, he's winning slowly while taking a seemingly remote risk of going broke.
A progression player would have .5% negative expectation for all the money he bets. Mathematically, he's loing slowing while taking a seemingly remote chance of winning big.
If that's the whole case, it will all come down to personal choices. If you want to play a game of hard to lose, take card-counting. If winning means a lot to you and you see your bankroll pretty much as dead money anyway, give yourself a chance to win big, take progression.
In reality, most card-counters don't have a bankroll of more than $3,000 to $5000, thus have to accept a much higher ROR; most of them can't always find the best rules and penetrations; most of them have to spend a lot of time traveling from casino to casino, wonging from table to table, and still worry about getting heat; cover plays, human errors and tipping also eat away that 1% edge, not to mention the cost of books, softwares, CBJN (joking)....
I estimate that more than 50% wannabe counters get wiped out or totally discouraged before they get to see that illusional long run.
As for the 50% who survived all these difficulties, after a year full-time playing, how much can they expect to win? In today's casinos, $10,000-$20,000 would be a decent range for the lucky 20% . The rest would have to settle somewhere near they started.
All the efforts and stress of card-counting will give you a 20% chance to make the salary of flipping burgers part-time. Card-counting is, in a way, still gambling. You gamble on if you are among the lucky 20%. The bright side is, if you are not among the top 20%, you won't feel too bad, because you know (or think) you are making a mathematically profitable investment.
In a short term, progression gives you a chance to win big. The sad thing is, if you play long enough to see the long run, you will lose your bankroll for sure.
If you play to win, the upper side of counting doesn't look that great, considering that much time you have to put in; while the down side of progression (losing the whole bank roll) is not that bad, considering you'd have a decent chance to lose it anyway if you count cards.
I'm not endorsing progression over counting. But if I really need some extra money in a week, I'd rather take progression, even I'm a pretty good counter. Otherwise, I won't even play Blackjack. It's gambling anyway, why give fate a chance to screw you when it's unnecessary. I can always find a better use of my brain, my discipline, and most importantly, my time.
"Just something to think about--I know I will."
---Phoebe from "Friends"