You could also use a points-based system; 3 for a win, 2 for second, 1 for third (if paid out). If a novice accumulates 7 points then they must move up (or if their score ties/beats the next division up that day). Intermediates move up after 10 points, and Adv moves up whenever they're getting tired of winning plastic.
Its not a long-term solution, but for the short-term, until the handicapped system is in place. It could be an option.
And I completely agree, TDSA members should get perks. Non-TDSA members should only be able to win DX or Pro plastic, on TDSA members can win Star and Champion, wouldn't that throw a little wrench into the system.
Fodder for the herd.