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.
While this is true in the reality of it all, I always personally hated this argument. It is elitist - which the world is, I understand - but also implies there is no interest in facing the best of the best in cardboard battle...just the best of the wealthy.
I'd agree that they shouldn't join for free, but there's a difference between paying $50 to play and $25K to play.
My point was that it's all relative. I'd love to do F1 racing. I can't even proxy that. I mean ... I can play Need for Speed. If Vintage were the only way to play Magic out there it would feel more constraining. But there are 10 other formats, all more widely played than vintage. But one persons Type II is another persons Type I in terms of cost. $50 won't get you close to a mythic laden Type II deck. It might get you a Pauper deck (I don't actually know?). It's just a race to the bottom, somebody won't even be willing to pay the $50. Then you don't have anyone with a business interest in producing new functional product.
I'd rather play in a 20 person event with real cards than a 40 person event with sharpied Scalding Tarns. It's that off putting for me. I prioritize champs every year not only because it attracts the folks who dedicate most of their 'magic time' to Vintage but also because I don't have to stare at a Plains with Mox Pearl scrawled on it.
Again ... step one is the obvious easy legalization of IE/CE. We have legal Magic cards with puzzle card backs. We even have a warped foil policy in place for some of the wretched promos not available in non-foil.