A few years ago I wanted to get PMP certified as well. Having always been autodidact at all my undertakings (and being great at each), I figured that this would be a great career move.
To my amazement and surprise, you practically need to be a Project Manager in order to qualify for the PMP. So I wrote their association to let them know my concern about such 'requirements'. I pointed out that I have extensive project management experience, unfortunately which was almost impossible for me to quantify on paper (never officially held the title, but always worn the hat type of scenario). I explained that I had (self) learned SO MUCH in the project management field in the last decade that I know I could pass their exams with flying colors.
I explained to them that it made no sense for me to seek my PMP if I already was a project manager or had so many thousands of hours of project management experience (chicken-&-egg scenario).
Their response was pretty void and a repeat of what they post on their web site.
For some reason they fail to realize that thousands (if not tens of thousands) of individuals could pass their PMP exams with flying colors in order to prove their knowledge. In my opinion they are trying to 'control' who is a member by putting these ridiculous requirements. By doing this, they are essentially locking out SO many qualified candidates.
I've neglected negotiating the formal titles/salaries during the path of my career due to my HUGE passion for actual software development, design and architecture. Now it's hard for me to compete -- having 20+ years of experience under my belt, most of which I lead teams/projects -- with these new graduates that come to the industry and with only a few years experience all they want is to become instant project managers.
I figured that with the PMP, this would give me leveraged, but like I said, PMP refuses to allow individuals like me into their 'club'.