I must say that your opinion is good, but it's not absolute verity.
Airsoft is a hobby. You can have fun withouth a 600+ $ gun.
U can have fun without a tactical vest, helmet, nametag, and even camo.
We are a social airsoft league
At each game, we choose two picks. Never the same people.Then, we split team. If its not even, some players change team, so everyone is habing fun.
Buying a cheap gun is a good way, in my opinion, to get used to the game. To know what are the dynamics. To know what is your style of play. I see many new players buy sniper (Gonna sniper them all, sneaky!). Then they realise sniping is not for everyone.
Not everyone have a lot of money. Some people dont work, are at school, have kids, etc. Its just a question of priority. In the group where i play, we all began with Canadian Tire gun, or cheap AEG. We found a nice terrain (old mine), and with time, players buy new guns. With the old guns, there is new player to try them!
So, for playing airsoft and having fun, u need a AEG, glasses or googles, and guts. Thats all.
Tactical vest wont help u shoot at others. Even if its a crappy Pulse R76, from Canadian Tire, if u are well placed, know to shoot, u can be good and having fun.