As far as elavatoring up and down. Is it that hard to leave a few legendaries sitting on reward givers if you are close to leveling?
As far as a small guild having to trim down to just their base core, why? If that base core isn't capable of handling any decay without the benefit of any size bonus, it isn't sufficient to the task. A guild in which nobody is putting forth a substantial effort to succeed probably shouldn't IMO. I know this is probably a foreign concept in this game, but success shouldn't be the default, or even expected, condition simply for playing. It should be the result of putting forth an extraordinary effort. Maybe not by all, but by those who want to be leaders in more than just name.