I decided to go ahead and order a set of 1" composite collars ($19) and 2" metal collars ($84). Shipping was another $26, so I am all in at $130.
The purchasing and shipping was as described in the review. Rather than pay the $8% paypal fee, I opted to provide my credit card over the phone which turned out to be a treat in and of itself.
I spoke with Josh Washburn who was very friendly over the phone. My curiosity got the best of me and turns out, he is the second generation of the family business. The design came out of a thesis project. The patent was issued some time later. I did not clarify the provenance of the first generation, but I assume it was his Dad. His Mom took over for a while and now he runs the business. They just sell them wherever they can. The do not manufacture the components, but they do all of the assembly.
I like supporting small businesses and still love cool and unique gym equipment. I even downloaded a copy of patent 4,893,810 and it would certainly make for some nice wall art in my gym.
Review to follow.