you should be able to play with crappy gear just because that way your skills would be more important than your gear and it would also remove the grind for gear or make it optional.
maybe Im old fashion but I always liked when I was able to get better results with skill than someone who had better gear than me but no skill.Thats more rewarding ....but maybe Im talking about a different game
This is currently the case. Build and player talent is far more important than gear. I'm not really sure what's changed that makes you think otherwise.