I agree. I read the book Teaming With Microbes, which details this method and why to use it, citing Elaine Ingham's work. I have not ordered my pump yet to do any of it myself, but it is an investment that I will make.
As I read your post, I see a very big difference in the thinking behind compost tea and aerated compost tea. You mentioned nutrients several times, which reflects the fact that most people think of compost tea (and compost for that matter) as an organic fertilizer -- a way to add nutrients to the soil. I.E., as a chemical amendment. In contrast, the primary purpose of applying AERATED compost tea is to modify the micro-ecologies of the soil and the root zones, leaves and stems of the plants.
My guess, is that this was not enough oxygen, Jim. The one time I saw compost tea being made by people who really know what they are doing was at a Permablitz lead by Javan Bernakevitch and Gord Hiebert at the Darfield Earthship. The pump was strong enough that the water had a very 'active boil'. It was really, really moving a lot of air into the water. Getting this right is important.
The aerated tea is definitely more difficult to make, and I did not see enough difference in results to warrant it for myself. I used a "waterfall" effect from a pond pump to get air, there's more than one way to skin that cat.
This was stressed by the instructors and by the Teaming With Microbes book.
It's possible to fail utterly with aerated compost tea if your brewing doesn't create the right conditions for breeding the beneficial bacteria, protozoa and fungi which are the only measure of a successful aerated compost tea.