Jon, this has been an interesting set of posts. My husband finally found some time to discuss this one.
I think I understand the notions of sola fide and also sola scriptura (sp?). But sometimes I wonder if non-catholics are any better at truly understanding their faith than a good majority of catholics are
That is to say if non-catholics actually knew or understood what their religion professes they would look to the Church for more answers. Likewise if more Catholics actually understood or tried to understand their faith they too would spend more time within the Catholic Church.
This is why I think apologetics is so important. ( to bring Catholics as well as non-Catholics to more faith).
I hope this makes sense—because it affirms what you are saying.