Yes, it's more complicated than it seems. Coloration is one thing, patterning is another, I have experiments going now experimenting in the extremes of coloration, patterning and also some things that people have been saying is impossible.
Basically if you want to experiment, that is the best way to figure this stuff out. Not waiting for a laboratory to figure it out for you. In my opinion that is just being lazy.
Certain color traits or patterns are x-linked and others y-linked in diffreent species. Color patterns in Endlers, for example, are specifically y-linked. Male offspring will carry the father's pattern traits, nothing is from the mother. The spot patterns on a guppy's tail can be used to trace it back to one of the original 6 strains that were developed in a lab in the 50s or 60s. It isn't a matter of mixing paint to get the desired colors/patterns. It is selecting the proper parent stock to begin isolating the desired characteristics.
It isn't laziness, it's efficiency. Not everybody has the space or resources to set up tons of tanks to experiment and keep track of which parents led to what traits after so many generations or to see what happens when you cross back desired traits. It takes a lot of separation and isolation to do that. Even more tanks are required when other traits or random mutations show up that look promising. The other method relies on tons of time and luck in a larger populated tank, which doesn't lend its self well to closely monitoring which shrimp are breeding to determine which traits are passed on from which parent. That method is better suited to cleaning up the current line or improving the finished look. Not so much for bringing out a completely new color or pattern.
Having the genetics mapped out would allow for desired traits to be developed in fewer generations more accurately while being able to provide a more diverse gene pool through less inbreeding by having more of the desired patterns/colors from more parents and having the ability to line breed with fewer tanks and less space. Also, it allows those that don't have the money to invest in expensive breeding stock to try to develop something; they would be able to invest in fewer initial stock selected for the desired traits to develop something new.
When people talk about breeding shrimp they say that inbreeding doesn't affect the shrimp, their genetics allow for excessive inbreeding due to their native habitats. But then in other places the same people are talking about how certain strains are more susceptible to infection or don't breed well because they are so inbred. So I think having the ability to have a more broad genetic base to start with will help alleviate the issues of stability with certain strains.
I hope this doesn't come off as ranting or argumentative. I don't think the laziness comment is fair. Not everybody can invest the time and money to try to this stuff out on their own. The information that is out there now has taken decades to figure out and it isn't anything close to getting consistent results for new patterns/colors (at least not that I have found). The stuff they are getting out of guppies now is incredible, they couldn't have imagined it years ago. And they are designing it before they even select the initial breeding stock.
I know that you said that shrimp genetics are recessive, so it wouldn't be possible to design shrimp in the same manner as guppies, but having the information would help out a lot.
As far as the profit thing goes, top guppy breeders still bring in big money. Probably more than they ever could before due to the ability to design new crazy patterns, colors, and sizes. The average person can still develop their own line, but they can't approach the quality or diversity that top breeders do. And the people that have hundreds or thousands of dollars to drop on a single fish are still buying the exclusive lines. Most hobbyists are still buying the better quality lines and just trying to maintain them or improve certain qualities. If anything, the information has increased the top breeders' ability to make money. I'm sure that would carry over to the shrimp world as well.