I have only attended for the last 2 years so can't comment on how long Cutter and Tome have been organising this but in the little way I tried to help them this year I can understand their position that they are trying to arrange a meal for up to 80 people. Many of that 80 would have different choices of menu/cost if it was their call and posible prefer other "quality"restaurants.
Its not posible to get it perfect for everyone but they do a pretty good job, yes there are cheaper/better restaurants but they can't take 80 people nor are they as near to the marina. People are free to attend but simply take their meal on board or at another restaurant but then they miss a major part of the scuttlebutt meet.
I have a thick skin and I believe Tome & Cutter have developed one as well as it can be pretty demoralising to organise such a great event and get a number of shall we say less than constructive PM's before the event and the odd critical posting especially as they finally have the financial burden of making up any financial shortfall when a few may forget to pay for that additional bottle of wine they ordered.
In the light of a few pre-event postings I have invited comments and PM's and todate I am under the impression that everyone thought it a great event, reasonable value for money and if I could have arranged 1 plate of chips we would have a 100% satisfaction survey.
Credit where credit is due Cutter & Tome do a good job and I am sure if you could find a better option they would be happy to consider it for next year.