Let's just pretend I pay the same sub you do, but the way I play the game is different than how you play the game.
And the way I play the game is punished by a superficial attunement predicated upon completing some RNG loot or insane rep grind..........which were ironically exactly what the CotN attunement required for SSC/TK prior to the patch that wiped out their rep requirements in BC.
Let's pretend we both pay the same subscription fee. Now lets stop pretending that your subscription fee should buy you more than mine should. We both pay $15. We both have the same opportunities to get the same items. I do a better job of it. I get rewarded for it. Simple concept is simple.
It's not like 1 or 2 people in the world have reached this item level or that reaching it is very difficult. The way you play the game is slower and thus you reach places slower. If we both buy gears of war 3 and I sit down and play for 12 hours and wind up on the last level and you play for 2 hours do you really think we will be in the same spot? Is it "punishment" that I played more and got farther? Does the fact that the game cost us both $60 have anything to do with the price of tea in china? No, it's just the way video games work.
If you are sarcastically suggesting we bring back attunements your barking up the wrong tree because I am 100% in favor of this.