cheeeeesecake raised above many 'Montessori' programs now are in fact only Montessori inspired. When you attend a 'true' Montessori school or playgroup they are very strict and cold is actually a very good word to describe the manner in which the teachers interact with the child.
'True' Montessori is not play based (in the sense of the average person's understanding of 'play') at all and is in fact very structured and rigid. The equipment is didactic - in that there is ONLY one correct way to interact with it. Attempts to interact with equipment in other ways are not allowed. A bit of research in to the foundations of Dr Montessori's research will show very clearly why it is this way.
So I guess in my op I was speaking to the question - which asked about the Montessori method - as opposed to Montessori inspired activities.