Gearscore is a way for lazy WOW players to say “If you somehow got good gear, then you must be a good player.” Unfortunately, it’s also a way for bad WOW players to say “If you don’t have good gear, you can’t be a good player.” Equate it to someone who wears expensive suits and drives an expensive car. If you arrive to a dinner party in your business casual and used Honda Accord, you look less impressive, certainly. Maybe the person is just a car maniac and likes clothes that happen to be expensive *shrug* It’s not impossible. However, I don’t have any reservation saying “Hell no am I wasting my money on that crap when I can get functional replacements for 5-10% the price!”
BTW, the picture above is my gearscore after about 2 weeks at max level. I play a lot, sure, probably quite a bit more than so-called “casual” players, but I still work 40 hours a week and go to bed at a normal time, and also screw around with Tim running ZG and AQ20 and stuff. So, while gearscore is an unnecessary filter in my eyes, at least it’s pretty easy to pass most minimal criteria (ICC10 pickups generally ask for 5.3-5.5k GS).
The other unreasonable wall erected to stop “bad players” from joining groups is the achievement link requirement. “LFM ICC10 send gs/ach”. Guess what, folks? I hit 80 2 weeks ago. No one let me into their group since I didn’t have the gear, so there’s no way I have the achievement. I used to play on another server, so I don’t have buddies to get me free achievements either, nor can I log on another character and say “Here, I did the bosses on this person instead!” Beyond that, there are people paying for the Kingslayer title these days, so having the achievement doesn’t guarantee that you even actively participated in the raid.
It’s kind of weird to think that most WOW players are really materialistic, considering all the items are virtual. We’ve got people ninja-ing drops from popular raids like Onyxia and Sartharion. We’ve got people kicking you from raids because their friends are also the same class as you, so they don’t want to split drops. We’ve got people complaining in General chat because they swiped at a monster in passing and you didn’t prostrate yourself before them, expressing eternal gratitude.
I guess, in the end, the rules of the WOW universe are just much different from the rules of the “real life” universe. Things won’t always go your way, or, conversely, maybe you can make them always go your way. In either case, don’t treat your time on Azeroth as a perfect extension of your experiences in the real world and you’ll probably be much better off.