I have a had a few interactions with local volunteers, once involving a cache idea which has not previously been done and once with changes in gc.com policies infringing on one of my caches. In both cases I was unable to reach an agreement with the reviewer and was instructed to contact TPTB. In the case of the cache idea, the ruling was in my favor - however, I have not followed through with the cache and am undecided if I will or not. In the other case, I am out of luck so my cache has a slightly different value or purpose than what I originally intended. But it's still a good cache.
In any case, I found the reviewers I talked with to be fair and understanding, and I found the people I talked with at Groundspeak to be the same. Just because you don't get your way does not mean you are being mistreated.