Lets take a look at a set of few goals people have in GW2 and see what effect spending $ has.
Some want to have best gear by getting a full set of ascended armor and a legendary. They can then either go out and farm for years, or send anet a few hundred bucks and buy it directly from the tp. Without exception, the price needed in $ has gone down, while the time required in farming has gone up.
Best gear might not be everyones cup of tea, so lets look at skins. People can either farm for years to buy gems in order to unlock any of the new skins since release, or spend the $ to do so instantly. New skins has been almost exclusivly gem-based.
Others want WvW rankings. You can then either do it slow lane speed, or get fast lane option of 150% by gem purchases. you also can get competive advantages, like 5% damage and 5% defence. If you include those who tactically do server transfers, $ has an additional impact.
For those who goes after achivements, some points is to be gained from gem items (mini pets to mention one of them), but it is less of an issue if you are in a larger/richer guild.
Is this enough for a conclusion about the design of GW2? Everyone is of course free to their opinion, but the facts are stacking up.
Please don’t intentionally distort that in an attempt to make your argument appear to be more correct. You can not make a full ascended armor and two legendaries from 600 cheap gw2 gold, and that assuming people would farm 7 days a week for 2 hours. Spending what basically is two work days per week on farming is not everyones cup of tea.
Lets pick a player who want to max a Mesmer. They want armor and a greatsword. The armor will cost around 600 gold by iteself, which already there is the whole aloted money with no weapon to speak off. Then there is the legendary, which is between 3000-4000g. Assuming a generous 250g per month (which is extremly above the average income per player), and you end up with 16 months or 1.5 years amount of farming. If you make the legendary yourself, the cost will slightly decrease, and you might be able to do it in less time.
Yes, you could change the variables and get a rangers that wields an underwater legendary, but we are talking about common goals which people actually has. Those goals are not achiveable by 2 months of farming.