@British and Ghol: No harm meant. I did not mean to correct native speakers, but to describe the 'linguistical situation' in publications on English grammar. My initial question was, "Is there room for doubt now?" (19.02.), and I must confess, "Yes, there is."
I should like to add that I didn't want to discuss 'if+will/would' again; I'm well acquainted with the exceptions. On the other hand, I wonder why Ghol thinks that my examples don't fit the problem. British wrote (translated), "Ich würde behaupten, dass 'dear' weder altmodisch noch besonders schottisch ist: als ob daran irgendetwas falsch wäre!" That's exactly the grammatical phenomenon we talked about.
Ghol, please have a second look at your formulations: they are _conditional_ sentences, and the first 'as if'-clause has no form of 'to be'. The second version is British's version ("as if it would be"), which made me so puzzled.
I would now answer, "If Ghol insists on staying in youth hostels during the summer, you'd better remember: it is not as if he were poor." (not: 'would be').
In the sentence about the transgenic plants, 'if' introduces an indirect question (= "ob"), not a conditional clause ("wenn/falls"). And there is no 'as if'.
Nevertheless, British and Ghol: I respect your knowledge and command of the English language as native speakers, and I do believe you that there are situations when sophisticated native speakers will say, ".. as if there would be..".