I think part of the problem is considering "experience" and "knowledge" to be interchangeable. They aren't, not even a little bit. I've got several hundred years experience according to the scale mentioned in the original post, yet I wouldn't say I'm an expert herper.
As an example, I've had a (gecko) Rhacodactylus l. henkeli for just over 4 years now. All I've learned from her so far is how to feed her, her preferred foods, feeding times and methods, or how to tell if she's too hot. I've learned she has a great vocabulary of noises which she uses mostly at night to keep me awake. Since I don't have a male, I have no knowledge about their mating and breeding routines, no idea of their interactions with others of their species. She's still young, so there's no experience with geriatric leachies, and she's never been sick, so there are no medical expericences to pass on. Yet, if I were to say I have over 4 years experience with Leachianus, you'd think I should know it all, or most of it.
On the other hand, I've got tons of knowledge about dart frogs that I accumulated over 6 years of keeping them. Within a year of keeping my first 12 darts, I learned everything from acclimating new acquisitions all the way through breeding, raising tadpoles and froglets. And I even learned about the internal makeup, unfortunately some of them died. The dead ones taught me about buying/shipping darts, about how to make sure they really are CB not WC or farmed and how to treat them accordingly. How to make sure the shipper knows how to package and ship them properly. I learned way more about darts in 12 months than I learned about Leachianus in 4 years. Yet, if I'd said back then that I had 1 year of experience with darts, I would have been labelled a newbie, not to be listened to.
Experience does not necessarily bestow knowledge, nor vice versa. Yet a lack of either one will greatly increase the other.