While I don't discount any experience you may have had along this line, I just haven't seen it.
I've never been part of an "elite raiding guild." I've never been even remotely close to those "server first" raiders, and I've generally been a part of groups that are more friends than they are any sort of "super hardcore"
The reason my friends and I keep playing end-game content is for the challenge and for the camaraderie. The reason I'm in favor of some of the changes Bioware is doing (can't RE 72 gear) is because it will increase the challenge of the game for myself and my friends. I think it is good for the game.
It's not about squashing other people. It's about challenging ourselves. When you say something like "So, what this all really comes down to are elite raiding guilds not wanting the average Joe to be able to have what they have" it just sounds like whinging to me.
Your statement doesn't apply to any of the people I know.
How challenging content is, also has nothing to do with what the rewards are.