I guess I am "old guard". It seemed as though with Rossi, the goals moved away from science and understanding to commercialization and large outputs (at least 1kW). But to me, my goal posts are in the science.
CF has moved away from science long before the Rossi's arrival, practically from the beginning of its history, as was explained by Melich - a main protagonist of the field - at ICCF3 held in 1993 (1): "There are two sets of criteria that have been in play from the beginning - the scientific criteria and those associated with patents. It was commonly assumed, particularly since the FPE was presented in a public press conference, that the most important criteria were those of science, yet a careful examination of what was made available in 1989 suggests that patent criteria were primary."
So, the patent criteria - ie those of commercialization - have always been predominant over the scientific ones.
The patent approach was already followed at the time by the ENECO, and Melich himself was involved in it (2): "Michael Melich, during the time he was a government employee, was also involved in the private company ENECO before it folded. ENECO aggressively began collecting cold fusion patents in 1991 and eventually obtained the original University of Utah patents for the Pons-Fleischmann discovery."
ENECO disappeared at the beginning of 2008 (3), exactly when the last and most brilliant comet was rising in the sky of CF/LENR, accompanied hand by hand by the same exponent of the old guard (4): "I heard how Mike became involved in starting to explore what he was doing. Rossi claimed to be closing in on producing a working LENR technology. He had American partners who had worked with the U.S. Navy and were familiar with the continuing interest of the Navy in energy technology. In late 2007 the company requested someone with technical interest and competence to view a demonstration. It took until summer 2009 before the promised demonstration was nearly ready. The demonstrations were organized at the company’s facilities and several government scientists were invited to observe four to five hour demonstrations of the startup of the reactor and its operation and shutdown. It was an impressive demonstration. Although independent electronic instrumentation was not available, a rough estimate of how much energy was produced could be made. What Rossi said that night was that he was heating his offices in a factory building where he worked with the heat from his invention. That certainly got my attention. As soon as we returned to the U.S., I began to look into his background and realized it would take a lot of research to properly report on Andrea Rossi. His history included extraordinary inventions such as a technology that converted waste products, literally garbage, into a useable fuel oil. But he had also gone to prison, a story that either cast him as a hero who’d gotten in over his head in mixed circumstances or the opposite. He had explained to us that his interest in cold fusion began in prison, when he passed the time by reading scientific papers about it. Whoever he was, it was my husband’s job to be one of the people to try to figure out if what he had was real."
So, Rossi's arrival has been the logical and coherent completion of the evolution of the CF/LENR field. Now, after 10 years, you can easily figure out not only what Rossi really had, but also what LENR really is, and where its goal line (or posts) could be.