how much scientific effort has been displaced into "finding other ways to make stem cells" that could otherwise have gone into "finding ways to use stem cells to treat medical conditions".
The key difference here is that, ideally, you'd like to be treated with your own stem cells. Think organ transplants -- you could get stem cells from some embryonic source, but your body would likely reject them. I'm not a proponent of recent science-policy regarding stem cells but, in retrospect, these "workarounds" may end up being critical discoveries on the path to cell-based therapy.
Another megabytes the dust.