So you're saying the directions on the typical smack packs are wrong and that said smack pack is not enough by itself to ferment a strong ale correctly?
I've read in a few places that the smack packs are so good that starters are no longer necessary. I've also read that slow fermentations are often done intentionally to produce different flavors, not necessarily "off" flavors. None of this reading I have done has come from any particularly valid source so I may very well be misinformed.
I've brewed numerous batches that all turned out great without starters, but I'm certainly open to techniques that will produce a better end result. I do, however, have to understand something before I will adopt it. What about the smack packs isn't enough to ferment a high gravity beer correctly and why does that produce off flavors rather than either a) the same flavor, or b) a different flavor that is not off.