WARNING: The following is my original impulse, not my considered opinion:
I wasn't putting words in your mouth. Rather I, dumb cluck that I am, was confused, and was asking for clarification. It wasn't all that obvious at least to me, idiot that I am. I know some that, given the "'why do people put words in my mouth" and "obviously, not" mantras might think you were an Ayn Rand clone. But not me, no sir, not me. I sincerely felt a certain kinship with your complaint given Robert C's post about me in another thread, and so my "I feel your pain" was a sincere effort to be cordial. Sorry, it won't happen again.
Having mutually vented, maybe we can actually talk about this.
First, do you see any similarity between what I just did, what you did in your post to me, and what Leonard did in his response to you? We all assumed that something was 'Obvious' that wasn't. It is, I've concluded in my old age, part of the human condition. Perhaps it's an unfortunate by-product of the fact that our time is limited and we don't want to take the time to explain what appears obvious to us (that Rand did this on occasion seems pretty clear on the evidence) but isn't to others. Forums like this are particularly susceptible to the by-products of this: 1) we don't really give well thought out answers to honest questions, 2) we don't always ask well thought out questions (so they appear dishonest), and 3) we don't read carefully the responses we do get, particularly if they are well-thought-out and therefore, looong.
In any case, Leonard appears to have thought that your question amounted to trivializing this very hard and very recent (?) decision he had (or thought he had) to make. Instead of thinking in the abstract about 'wounds' in general, you may have hit on a very open wound (in fact, I'm inclined to say it's obvious that you did) and Leonard over-concretized your question so that it became caught in the "very hard" decision he had made. Perhaps he felt pushed into making a decision. His anger was taken out on you.
Is this meant to excuse Peikoff's behavior? Only in part. For there are a couple of questions that need to be answered objectively (not intrinsically and not subjectively, as a reminder to any newbies reading this thread).
1. Did your question trivialize his dilemma?
2. Did he act appropriately? (applies to you, as well as the four friends)
3. What is the proper approach to such issues?
I use the word "proper" instead of "moral" because I don't think this is a moral issue. One of my own principles is to make every effort not to judge a person outside his context (which is different than judging the context itself).
This is a good example of that principle, as are your further comments.
The bottom line is, I don't think there is any universal answer to any of those questions. This is an area where you have to say that "''trivialize", "appropriately" and "proper approach" depend so much on personal context that any universal answer is impossible and, itself, inappropriate. The objective answer to the above questions, for us on the outside, is that each person acted within his/her context and the result was X.
The much more difficult question is: what if you, Phil Coates or Tom Rowland, are asked to take sides between Peikoff and the Riesmanns? Here again, the choice of what to do depends on your context. Given my current context (not being close to or contractually involved with either) I have a copy of Riesmann's book on my shelf and recommend it to anyone who wants a brilliant economics reference.
Were I pressed, I don't think it's quite as simple as "get new friends" That's just my experience with Fred speaking -- my context. The difficulty of that break and the pain and sadness I still feel on occasion (and am feeling as I write) and the absence of any substitute male love in my life leads me to not dismiss such hard choices very easily. "Getting new friends" can be just as difficult as the original choice.
PS Lest anyone fail to understand, none of this is intended to give any purchase to the cult of moral grayness.