Again, I think it's ironic that you mention Ven Thanissaro in this context, since one of Prof Sharf's criticisms is that Buddhist Modernists ignore the Commentaries. This is certainly true of Ven Thanissaro but not of Ven Mahasi.
Furthermore, from listening to Ven Thanissaro's talks, I don't see much difference between his instructions, and what I've learned from Mahasi-style teachers.
E.g. see my comments: http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.ph ... 80#p174339http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.ph ... 74#p202976
He makes a big deal of his particular interpretation of the exact meaning of sati, but if you look at the whole of the instructions from various teachers, the differences between him and others is more a matter of splitting hairs than real, at least as far as I can understand him. See the discussion here: http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f=41&t=13538
As for the Sharf talk, there are some interesting aspects, and his criticism of secular variants is fair enough, but he obviously has very little idea of what Mahasi-style practice involves.
By all means criticise the secular teachers who divorce meditation from Dhamma. However, I think it is a little silly to focus on largely imaginary hair-splitting differences between obviously knowledgeable and talented teachers such and Ven Thanissaro, Ven Mahasi, and various other monastic and lay teachers that we are fortunate to have access to.