I can't see him purchasing ISBNs for such a venture. The press can organise that part of the deal. If you intend to self-publish, however, you will pay the press to do it's bit (ie printing and binding) and then take on the promotion and sales of the material. A vanity press product will typically be donated to a library or collection.
I think what our friend here is ticked off about is that after paying the fee for the ISBNs, they aren't automatically listed in BiP. Again, whether you are or are not listed is not a huge issue. You can get listings on any number of free sites and librarians will go there to find works that have been requested as purchases. Libraries have guidelines called 'collection development policies' that direct their purchases. Based on the nature of their clientele they will collect material to meet client's needs - they do not trawl through a 7 volume work of 3.5 million listed works randomly choosing purchases.