Starting with your last question, I don't think one branch is better than the other, they are different.
I belong to the WTF branch, I know that our patterns are different than the ITF patterns, then again there are patterns that my school does,within WTF, that are different than other schools.
Based on the numerous threads and independent searches on the net no one school, let alone branch seem to follow the same curriculum. They are similar but different.
The biggest difference that I have seen lies in the way the ITF performs their patterns. The breathing rhythms are different, the stances a bit deeper (front stance versus walking stance).
Much emphasis is often made by ITF members that WTF is more sport than art. While it is true, the only way to compete in the Olympics is through a WTF affiliated school, my particular school does not heavily promote that. My instructor often points out that if you strictly follow the fighters regimen and ignore the art, you will have nothing to turn to in MA once your fighting days are over.
[This message has been edited by tkddad (edited 11-08-2004).]