I'm sure folks such as Scott Hahn, Steve Ray, Gerry Matatics, Dave Palm, Dave Currie, Kenneth Howell, Mark Shea, Kristine Franklin (Bob Sungenis, Jeff Cavins, and Curtin Martin are re-verts so I won't count them) and hundreds more in Marcus Grodi's The Coming Home Network who have appeared on EWTN "The Journey Home" program understood some of the problems you bring up (i.e. seeming lack of evidence for full-blown Catholic doctrines in the earliest centuries, which became explicit in the fourth, fifth and later centuries) but they don't see this as decisive against becoming a Catholic (and neither do I).http://www.philvaz.com/apologetics/num36.htm
Let's see: David Palm is a "Reluctant Traditionalist" who's quite critical of the current post-Vatican II regime:
And for their part, Sungenis is now in open conflict with his bishop while Matatics has become a sedevacantist.
What a difference a decade makes! Not only has Phil Porvaznik's argument failed to stand the test of time, but it's backfired. If he were arguing today, I seriously doubt he'd cite Palm, Matatics, and Sungenis as posterboys for his position. To say it hasn't worn well is an understatement.
If fact, Jason is now in a position to agree with Porvaznik's illustration, but turn it against him.