I haven't played GW2, but I have researched it.
I played DAoC for a very long time. The path in that game was: level a toon, build/decide on a template, acquire that template, realm VS realm (RvR) however you wanted to gain realm rank (RR) - RvR was the end-game.
GW2 doesn't have RR, the nasty hard Explorable dungeons give you different LOOKING loot but not better stat.s, and legendary weapons are a long-term goal but again, only affect LOOK.
So basically what I'm seeing is once you reach L80, there is no way to improve the innate effectiveness of your character!