Well you're basically just running up against the fact that there is a very thin line between the two categories. Someone you might consider pro would be different than what someone else would think.
The real definition of a professional is someone who gets paid. So if they recieve a retainer to ski, then pro. If not, then am.
However, if you are talking pro skill level, thats a whole other bag of bananas. I mean on that logic, anyone could be pro if they are just super, super good. And being super, super good doesn't always mean you get paid.
Orange names are a different story... those aren't supposed to represent pros, but rather active people within the ski industry. They could be a pro rider, rep, active company representative, team manager, or all around industry dude.
I personally like slamming it all into the same category and lettin' you guys sort 'em out. Sure there will be a lot of orange names up there, but they're not in there because they're orange, they're in there because they're good.
I'm all for giving ams more exposure, (and newschoolers is pretty much the single best place for that on this planet) but I'm NOT about giving exposure to people that don't deserve it yet. Just because someone is a hot am from a certain area doesn't mean they're better than the pros. Most people better than pros will become pro themselves.
I think the NS community does a great job sorting through the bullshit and bringing the best stuff to the top. Over the summer we'll be working on our ranking algorithms and displays to try to facilitate this more and more. But hell... in the end you guys are the best and most honest judges.