Now what I don't get, is why you're acting like that's a bad thing. If you're a big, though, superintelligent and whatnot Elite STFer, just, you know, generally superior, why is playing dressup so important to you? Showing your elite status can be done by other means. Titles are way less likely to get your awesomeness called into question than some shiny suit...
People want the costumes cause they'd like to customize their characters, even if they're not RPers (who, really, have no business wearing full tactical getup, complete with an airtight helmet, into Quarks, unless they're fumigating the place) they often have this idea of what their character does in Starfleet that may or may not make the M.A.C.O. armor suitable for them. It's not that unusual. And as for the K.H.G. stuff... The K.D.F. has very little in costume customization options, within and without the C-store. The concentration of people who would want that unlock, for reasons other than peacocking, is even (and understandably) higher still there.
There are 0 other uniform unlocks that can be earned through similar systems. Yes, there's a token jacket at level 40, and yes, there's some diplomatic options that the doff system made almost as easy to obtain, but no, the Lobi slotmachines and veteran awards don't even come close to it. There's no such reward for completing all storyline missions. There's no such reward for doing 500 Foundry missions, or creating 5. (Is there some kind of prize for making the spotlight?) PvP? Hell no. You bothered to get all the academy lore datachips? Great! Here's nothing. Not even a title on this one.
I understand the STF people think they are super special, but they're really not. They're people with too much time on their hands, like the rest of us who play online games, and who merely choose to run different content than other players, over and over again, using tactics and builds other people worked out for them two days after the content was released, complaining about all the people who didn't major in Assimilated Strategies at the University of Youtube, and have thus far been lucky to get a shiny to go with their diploma. No. Give the shiny to the guy who invented the 10% rule for you. 95% of you are really in no position to strut.
Anyway, I'm not against prestige items, but I do think if you're going to have them, have them for different things. There needs to be more than just the one choice. And until there are, exclusivity will have to take a backseat. Though even then, you'll always have people doing things they don't want to do, and doing them badly, cause they really want that particular shiny, for whatever reason.
And just for the record, while I wouldn't use the system myself (I stopped doing normal mode 500 STFs ago*) I don't think a project exchanging 100 Omega Marks for a Borg Neural Processor is out of bounds. Seems like a very sensible thing to do.
* On my main anyway. You would not want to be subjected to some of my alts in ESTFs.
It's quite simple really. The raider mentaility has two parts. They want the best stuff. They want all other rewards to be inferior.