Acts 15, along with the FDS parable, are the basis for the existence of the modern day GB. It is not difficult for anyone who is beginning to study the bible with JWs to see this and be utterly convinced of the matter. Even after learning TTATT I had a hard time departing from the idea that a centralized body of administration may have existed then and may need to exist now. Many have come to argue that may be a certain organizational framework existed and that may be we can use one today. Stopping short of declaring that the GB is somewhat legit (may be just a bit crooked and deluded), one needs to really take an unbiassed look at Acts 15 if your goal is not to fall prey of the same analogy again.
Having thought for a while of the implications of the events of Acts 15 as well as other occurrences related to this, I can not help to ask myself the following question...
Was the party that went to Jesuralem with Paul looking for higher wisdom from elders or was it a diplomatic party? Was he looking to those whom they considered as figures of authority or was he looking to tell the Jewish leaders (because those were their leaders in their view) to take control of the rhetoric and have them instruct all the other Jews to drop the law for good?
May be this can be explained better if we look at an example. Jews had their elders and had their authority structure set from the times of Moises. Some had come to believe in Jesus but were not kin of leaving their customs and traditions. These traditions included, among others, having a structure of authority. However, they shared their place of worship and their congregation with people from other nations who did not recognize Jerusalem (as a body of elders) as a figure of authority. They had the example of Paul and other apostles, who told them they were free to eat everything so long they did not stumble anyone. When the dispute was brought up, did they go to Jerusalem to seek the decision of the elders or did they go to try to convince them to change the view of the Jews? In Acts 15:10, Peter tries to convince them that what they were asking for was a burden that no one was willing to carry, not even when they were under the law. Ultimately, the apostles are the ones taking the lead on putting the interests of the Jews ahead of those of the other nations (following the advice of putting others ahead of you). Sure they do strike a decision, but I think it sounds to me more like a compromise, where each part gave up something even thought the original purpose may have been to have the Jews change their view and not the other way around.
On another slightly different point. If the old day GB is the same as today's and shunning is scriptural. Who got DFd? Paul or Barnabas? Acts 15:39 shows they got into a pretty big argument. What happened to love and unity and why isn't there an example of the GB taking action on the matter?