I have almost always been attracted to Buddhism because I was under the impression that a teacher wasn't necessary. I am not sure where I picked up this impression, but it wasn't from a non-Buddhist source, I'm sure.
One of the things about Mahayana that is the most unattractive for me is the insistence upon learning from a master - especially for the Vajrayana. There is just something about relying upon a master that makes me uncomfortable right now. Something about it stinks of "religion."
While I understand the benefit of having a master to help improve one's practice, I don't think someone should seek out a master unless that person is ready to take that step.
I think technology has greatly changed the face of dhamma transmission that has not been available before. The internet is literally flooded with information about the dhamma, and more and more bhikkhus seem to be embracing the internet as a medium to convey the essential information to help with any problems of interpretation or practice. Perhaps the impersonal nature of dhamma talks via live internet streams is better since it leads to non-attachment and lack of preference for a particular (or available) master.
The wind spins without end,
one moment southward,
the next moment northward.