I have 0 interest in playing any format as a Proxy format, high cost or not.
Making your own game pieces is one step removed from this format just becoming a fan driven format where we start developing our own card designs. The more it becomes like that the less WOTC would ever support it to the point where it would kill the format itself, and I would much rather have a restrictive format than a dead one.
This 100%. We might as well be Decipher Star Wars. Nobody has a right to play or engage in any commercially supported (by WotC in this case) hobby for free. Vintage, Legacy, Draft or F1 racing ... they are all expensive hobbies from the point of view of different people.
That being said, local events held for no prizes in venues with beer flying around make sense for proxies if only to keep the absurdly valuable cards from getting destroyed.
If you want to play Vintage for less than paper there is MTGO. If you want to just play Vintage with friends there's nothing stopping you from proxying or using Cockatrice.
If you want to play sanctioned paper Vintage there's nothing that says you have to play powered. Many organizers have generously added budget prizes. Certainly printings in the last 5 years have introduced some bonkers additions to non-under-powered decks.