If you are in a guild that has 5 active players on at any given time your guild should not be doing the absorbing, but rather should be absorbed by a larger, more active guild. ------ We left some alts in our original guild, but are all really happy to have moved. My suggestion is to find a larger guild that is up for a merger and move single characters at first to test the waters.
I hear you, but me & my Guild have been here since early-Beta, so we won't be merging into anyone else's guild...ever.
Why? Besides the fact that i enjoy being the sole Guildmaster (unlimited powaaaaaaaa!!!!!) , frankly whether or not there are 5 people Online in guild-chat or 50 doesn't affect my (nor my guildees) play-time in the least bit.
And therein lies one of the inherent 'problems' with SWTOR...imo.
No one is online in guild? eh so what, just join a Group-Finder.
Not enough online in guild for ranked PvP? eh it's cool, just queue for reg WZ's (since they're the exact same zones and hey it's only "pre-season" anyway) .
Nobody online in guild to help w/ a HEROIC2? eh whatever, level 1 to 50 can be solo'd.
Need to finish a HEROIC4? eh no problem, my Legacy'd Companion & I can do it.
etc. etc. etc. ------- Oh and i disagree with your notion that (and i'm paraphrasing) "the smaller guilds shouldn't be absorbing anyone" -> lol Of course we should. See that's how 'we' become *larger* (and more active) ...which promotes more overall competition (or fodder) for all you "hardcore" type guilds.
Although keep in mind: the CAP on guilds is 500 members, so there's a limit
to any merging either way.
So yeah: Quality over 'quantity' indeed. And over time, it becomes 'a Quantity of qualitys.'