I'm pretty sure it's the same thing, but Whole30 just put's it more into a "consulting" mode, in that they provide specific guidelines for their clients. Also, Robb preaches more of cutting out just gluten, legumes and dairy for 30 days and doesn't get as specific as alcohol, coffee, etc.
Bottom line is you can hire Whole30, I don't believe Robb is actively taking clients.
You need to look at the Whole30 in a slightly different light than Robb. It isn't A vs B. Robb is talking about the process of living, and has approached it from a generalist 'book' approach. If you LISTEN to him, he's as hardcore as Dallas and Melissa, but he also understands (as do the Whole9 folks) how hard it is to change, and that not everyone is going to do it all at once, so he says "Try it for 30 days, and if you don't look, feel and perform better, add the foods back in and see what happens."
I think (and they can and will correct me if I'm wrong) the Whole9 folks assume that if you are in front of them, attempting the Whole30, then you are approaching this from a slightly different mindset, and therefore, need slightly different motivation and guidelines.
So, with that setting the stage,
The Whole30 challenge is a STRICT 30 day diet shift, in which you cold turkey remove all non-healthy foods from your pantry..(no, wait if you read robb's quick start guide, he says do the same thing), choose NOT to eat those non healthy foods for 30 days, and try to use the HEALTHIEST of choices available to you for each meal (also in Robb's quick start/book), using a good/better/best chart that they provide (Not specifically in the quick start/book, but mentioned in several places).
So, yeah I can't really tell the difference, save for the vehicle.
I dont think the reasoning behind Whole 9's recommendation for lean meats has to do with acceptance of the lipid hypothesis at all. They don't require grass fed beef or wild caught fish in the whole 30 likely in an effort to make it more accessible and less overwhelming to those new to this way of eating. At the same time that means eating grain fed, poor omega ratio meats that are also likely subject to hormones and antibiotics which all tend to accumulate in the fat. By allowing the eating of grain fed but leaner meats they avoid the issue of whats found in the fat, to some degree.
They are very similar. Dallas and Melissa of the Whole30 got a lot of their info from Robb, so they are of the same mindset. With the Whole30, you are allowed green beans and snap peas which I'm not sure you can eat on Robb Wolf's plan. No alcohol with Whole30, I don't know if Robb addresses drinking except the norcal margarita. Also, you are given portion guidelines with the Whole30. I'm more familiar with the Whole30 as you can tell! They are both great plans...if you're new to paleo I'd also suggest paleoplan.com. Very approachable and straightforward.
HI all, nice to be here, I just started the Whole30 yesterday and am finding myself pretty happy. I do have coffee, and I'm allowing myself snap beans, my weigh-in today showed a loss of 2 pounds and .30% bodyfat. I feel great.
It's hard for my fiancee and I to do "pure" Paleo, we are on a limited budget due to me being a student and us being on a budgeted income, so we try to eat the best cuts of meat possible, avoiding a lot of the fat which may/may not contain the antibiotics/etc.
Coconut milk is my saviour, it goes in my coffee every morning and my tea at night, the fat really helps.
I think whether you decide to go with one or the other, you should be fine. They're both excellent ways to start with Paleo. Personally, I like the challenge of Whole30 because it lets me tell myself "Ok, if you have [non-paleo/whole30 food] you LOSE THE CHALLENGE and all the previous days and hard work will have been for nothing!" That's just my mindset, if you have the discipline to keep yourself within those dietary boundaries without the structured competition of Whole30 then go for it! You'll just be picking from two sides of the same awesome Paleo coin! Good luck!