I should point out that Ven Paññāsikhara actually takes scholarship seriously. He is, after all, writing a PhD thesis. And he very kindly gave me a copy of a book by one of the famous scholars who he may or may not be referring to. Richard Gombrich's "What the Buddha Thought".
It's a very interesting book, and Prof Gombrich's investigation of what the background assumptions of groups that some of the Suttas were aimed at, or addressed to (which are not necessarily the same thing...), notably Brahmins and Jains, are very interesting and I think are actually helpful to those of us who are reading the Suttas for "religious reasons" (perhaps there's a better term), rather than for "scholarly reasons".
On the other hand, his discussion of actual practise is quite sketchy. And, as an example of the sort of thing Ven Paññāsikhara alludes to, he rejects out of hand that Venerable Anuruddha could have known which Jhanas the Buddha was in just before his parinibbana. Putting aside the issue of whether it is possible, there are definitely plenty of stories of teachers who are said to be able to diagnose their student's meditation by just watching them.
It occurs to me that "academic scholars" such as Gombrich serve a very useful role in applying their particular discipline to the available material, and sometimes coming up with interesting insights into how some passages might be read (e.g. as satirizing the Brahmins or the Jains). Whereas the likes of Bhikkhu Bodhi (and his predecessors in Sri Lanka) might be classified as "religious scholar" in the sense that they take as their starting point the received wisdom of the Theravada, and try to clarify it by careful research.