This thread has basically ran its course for civilized discussion.
The final lesson is and has always been, one of the few solid truths:
People will run and attend games that suit their taste. People will make investment in airsoft in a similar manner.
However, people who think they've got a right to call running around with clear guns and civies "true airsoft", time for a history lesson. Airsoft was born out of and sustains itself through recreational military and paramilitary simulation and re-enactment. That's why the guns look so realistic and that's why people dress up.
It's not fair when milsimmers completely disregard clear guns and civies, but then again, it's just as unfair when people with clear guns and civies consider themselves to be equal in airsoft to those who have made greater investment. The reality is that the activity we know as airsoft, from day one, is predominantly (though not solely) defined by its pursuit for realism, and that realism requires investment.
Airsoft may not be black and white, but there is a scale to it: casual and minimum investment versus dedication and continuous investment. It's not meant to be the basis for discrimination, it's simply different realism strokes for different realism-driven folks. Just don't think that simply because you're less realism-driven, all of airsoft should follow the lowest common denominator. On the flip slide, the more serious types should be using positive encouragement to get people to increase their investment, not talking down.
And yes, even the folks in civies with clear guns are realism-driven, investments aside. Before the minimum-investment crowd get up in arms about what I said, think about this: if it's all just a ranged-tag game, why aren't you (still) playing paintball or laser tag? Why are you using airguns that look so real that they require a clear receiver to avoid being classified as replica firearms?
Now everyone shut up and go (responsibly) play some airsoft.
"The Bird of Hermes is My Name, Eating My Wings to Make Me Tame."