SPAS 3.0 Form.addItem vs Label+TextInput

In reference to the sample set of basic web forms presented in SPAS 3.0 white paper spas3_ria_en.pdf, I found that using Label and TextInput controls added with panel.addGraphicElements() provides far more control and addressability that does the simple form.addItem method. While the sample application is visually appealing, without means to control and access the input data, the FormItem class is just eye candy.

Of course, I am new to action script, so maybe I am missing something here, like some inherited methods and properties that are obvious to an AS veteran.

An example of how to refernce the contents of a FormItem would be of awesome.