I suppose as long as Steve can find 'friends' who are willing to work for free, he no longer has to worry about paying for an article.
I consider that terribly unfortunate for you and others who think that writing an article isn't worth the value of being paid. It demeans your effort and the effort of others who put many hours and sometimes a considerable investment of expenses into an article.
When I write an article on a test of a camera or a lens, I will spend (depending on the size of the camera) hundreds of dollars of film on the article, and those costs are not expensed. They are covered in the article payment, so I don't consider the articles to be an avenue to make a living, either, but a payment (even if it is small) is a fair and honorable measure of the value that I bring to the magazine.
I have no issue with Steve, other than this. I wasn't part of the Foto3 debacle, and I don't know the history of what happened between Steve and Ted at the end, although it's clear that Ted got the short end of the deal. There are others that I know of as well.
I have defended him in the past because I believed that he was trying to be a positive contributor on this form and others, and I feel that he had a good magazine that provides a worthy contribution to the industry. As such, I was pleased to contribute to the magazine over the years.
I do think that potential contributors should know the state of the operation before they spend the effort on an article. If you have no expectation for payment then there will be no issue. Otherwise, be warned.