If that's true then why do so many crossfit people I see (pics on crossfit.com and founders) look out of shape?
As a Crossfitter since 2003, I am well aware of the pros and cons of the program. Greg Glassman (founder of CF) has a bad back from his days as a gymnast. He doesn't do Crossfit. Bill Belichek is out of shape too, yet has been the best coach in the NFL since 2000. I wouldn't hold Greg Glassman's physical shape against CF.
As a 44 year old, I appreciate the brief, intense workouts. With 3 kids, I don't have time to spend 1-2 hours each day working out. CF keeps me in good all-around shape with a minimal investment
The athletic workouts (o-lifts, sprints, rowing) keep me fairly flexible without a separate stretching program.
The shorter workouts seem to have excellent carryover to longer cardio events. I haven't run over 4 miles in 20 years, yet finished in the top third of a 15K race this summer using only CF for conditioning.
Considering how infrequently the heavy lifts come up in the WOD, the poundages lifted are pretty good. I do heavy DL maybe 10 times a year, yet I can DL 2X my BW at any time. 2X bodyweight DL is no great feat (yet I see very few guys who can do it), but those who DL more than that are working at it a lot more and usually can't run worth a crap.
Looking like you're in shape often has little to do with actually being in shape. Dan John says that the most important muscles are those you need a mirror to see (back, butt, hips). Most people spend 90% of their time pumping up their pecs and biceps. I see way too many peacocks strutting around the gym who look very imposing yet can't squat or DL nearly what I can.
The cult mentality. Jesus, it drives me nuts! The (CF) forum squashes any serious questions about the effectiveness of CF.
I don't find that it necessarily builds "bodybuilding" type muscle. Now, to be honest, I have never been able to put on much mass in my chest or arms. I'm not blessed in those areas which is what 99% of most guys want. CF rarely does heavy bench presses and never curls. They do a decent amount of dips (usually ring dips) and does an incredible amount of pull-ups, but my chest or biceps haven't seen much difference. Of course, my chest and biceps didn't see much difference when I did regular type workouts either. Since most guys want to look like bodybuilders, I would say that CF is not the best way to get there.
CF is a yuppie sport. Look at the pictures of the CF certifications. They look like a Republican convention. 99% white and many over the age of 35. These are people who don't think twice of paying $1000 to go to a CF certification for 2 days or paying $150 a month to workout at a CF affiliate. EDIT: what I mean by this is that I think one of the weaknesses of CF is that it's such a homogeneous group and doesn't look for/easily accept other ways of doing things. It's talk radio mentality: you hang out with a group of people who believe exactly what you believe, so you find it hard to believe that there is a whole world out there with different beliefs.