Great topic! Like many of you I never understood the reasoning that we couldnt grow a beard as Jehovah had created us to and that we were using man's fashion of shaving??!!
I got the same reasoning of the hippie explaination, and that why put my wishes above stumbling others etc...well I grew my beard on and off so many times over the years because I simply disagreed with the attitude I was getting. I remember one Watchtower study and it had a picture of a husband and wife and was about doing things so that the unbeliever would see a good example. Well the man in the picture had a goaty which was well groomed and he was neatly dressed, and so one elder answers that its obviously the man who is the unbeliever as he has the beard! Unreal!
One MS did grow a goaty and got a part on the assembly program, but was asked to do one thing before being included - you guessed it, remove the offending beard!