Trivializing the benefits of an entire line of gear as well as buffs is totally distracting to the real core issue.
How do you call 30 point resistance to all elemental damage, across the board, trivial?
How do you say running with an effective 44 point character (32 Base + (6 stats X 2)) as trivial?
How is running with a +5% XP advantage, trivial?
How is having all of these things combined trivial?
Assuming you can do quests in under an hour you can assume that you will have all these bonuses, at all times.
Then you consider guild gear. With an extra slot to boost up HP, SP, skills, attack and damage these things stack up and can greatly increase the power of a character and a guild as a whole.
Between the gear and the buffs characters are much more powerful, they are nearly immune to damage for the first 5 levels at least. They save buckets of spell points on buffs, their survivability increase through resists, DR, AC, their stats are higher, skills more uber and they level faster! This is not trivial.
Then how do you say that only a very specific kind of player in a specific kind of guild even has a chance of getting this stuff? Guild renown decay makes this problem a reality.
The player that plays once a month for a few hours still can hit level 20, can still get raid flags, can still craft, can still get epic gear, etc.
The player that plays for 20 hours a day can have all of this stuff as well. They are rewarded by having more of all of this because of the time in game they spend.
It doesn't matter if they spend 20 hours to reach a goal in a day or in 6 months. Each player has the same goal and can reach it in a certain amount of game time.
However, with the guild decay system the player that plays 20 hours a day gets the world, and the player that plays 20 hours in 6 months gets nothing. Not only that they are TAKING AWAY from those around them.
Why is that OK?
And if we want to talk dollars and cents. The power player that grinds through the whole game in a month gives Turbine $15.00 and moves on. The casual player that takes a year to go through the game gives Turbine $180.00. In this case I would definitely be catering to the casual player from a business perspective alone.