That is a very interesting article.
All of your questions are very relevant, and for the most part I agree with your comments.
But Buddhism in America will never be like Buddhism in Asia.
Buddhism in China changed as it left India.
Buddhism in Japan changed as it left China.
Buddhism in Europe & America has & is changing as it's left Asia.
It's integration into the west meets with the challenge of adapting to the already present religions & philosophies, much as it had everywhere else.
In present day America it is presented with the challenges of adapting to generations, like my own being born in 74', who have been force fed religion there whole life.
As many in my own & later generations see religion as "the problem", to then leave their families religion for another religion, not only presents conflict within the family but its also seen as an unnecessary extreme.
The vast majority of my generation would say that Buddhism has inspired them in their lives, and many who practice it, but very few would ever call it "their religion".
They simply do not want more religion, they want a beneficial & sustainable way of life that is void of religion.
And personally I thinks it's good. After all in Asia, only a minority diligently practice Buddhism, but the majority still claim it as their religion.
They build huge temples, pray & worship the Buddha much like a deity.
If the western world can acclimate & practice the Buddhadhamma as the western way of life & science, without it being a prescribed religion, then where is the fault in that?
This obsession with Asia is what I feel is delusional.
That in order to be a buddhist you must inherit their holidays, wear their clothes, decorate your home in an Asian style.
Does wearing jeans & flannel not cut it somehow?
Americans go to the gym to exercise the body and that is what they know, accept, and feel comfortable with.
If after the gym they go to a meditation group or a yoga class then all the better.
If we just accepted it as another religion than churches wouldn't have meditation classes & schools wouldn't adopt it into their practices.
I feel that the Tibetan prophecy that Buddhism will enter the western world as psychology is not only true & happening, but a rightful evolution of it.
In regards to the "cult of personality", that the more that it is integrated as science & lifestyle, then those that claim to be "special" will be revealed for what they are and their influence will diminish.
If we want Americans to receive the full benefit of Buddhism then it must first be stripped of it's religiosity & foreign attachments & simply become our way of life.