Sounds like horst has copped a fair bit of negative emails over the crystal malt in alt suggestions.
I have read several articles quoting actuall german alt brewers using crystal malt.(they may have been written by horst, i can't remember)
My two starters are ready for a spilt batch of alt beer (wyeasts european and german ale). I was going over wether i should add some crystal malt but so far my recipe does not include any, after trying pedro's the other day iam planning on doing pretty much the same recipe.
No plans on using sinimar though i'll just use the carafa malt itself.