I just happen to have Cygna's original character sheet handy (I don't throw anything away). Okay, now keep in mind that Cygna v1.0 was 4e, so she had to spend 15 seasons getting grounded in the Arts. Other than that, she had:
- 1 season of busywork in the lab (no game effect).
- 13 seasons of Independent Study from books.
- 3 seasons helping Aiden in the lab.
- 6 seasons helping Mikhail in the lab.
- 11 seasons spent being taught (not including the Grounding) by her parens.
- 4 seasons learning spells from lab texts.
- 1 season inventing a spell.
- 5 seasons helping Aislinn in the lab.
- 1 season being taught by a covenant knight.
- And 1 season helping Litha in the lab.
I don't think anyone's arguing that you get don't get a lot more powerful magus playing his apprenticeship season by season in play then you do with straight beginning character generation. But I don't think doubling (or more) the number of points you get for Apprenticeship in starting char-gen, or hobbling how you use your apprentice in play (just to throw out totally fictitious stuff), is the answer. And hopefully this is something that they fix in 6e.
But yeah...in Dave's campaign, cross-training apprentices was something everyone did...assuming that we knew about the apprentices, of course. And unfortunately that's the only saga I've been in that actually got as far as dealing with apprentices until Bibracte.