Nobody is "handicapped from the start" we all start at the same point. Why should Player A spend 0 time gearing & have the same gear as player B that spent countless hours gearing? It is a terrible concept that goes against the very nature of the game.
I suppose you feel that everyone should have to walk, rather than getting in a car to travel, simply because there was a point in time where everyone had to walk, too.
And calculators are evil because people used to have to work harder to figure out equations, I suppose.
Simply because you spent time acquiring gear, it doesn't entitle you to anything above other players.
I have full cata gear, epic gems, and t2 on my character. I can go into a battleground and destroy pretty much everybody with minimal effort. Guess what, that isn't fun for me. On the flip side, I can go over to an undergeared alt and get roflstomped in a BG... guess what... that isn't fun either.
So, now, battlegrounds aren't fun, and there is no real incentive to queue up for arenas anymore, because I've got the gear. I've literally got no reason to play the game anymore, because the model is so terribly designed, which is a shame, because I like the game. I just wish there was more substance to it that made me want to come back.
When gear is important enough that it is sole reason that a team can win or lose any given encounter for a part of game that pits players against each other, the model needs to be looked at.