It's an interesting commentary, though I think the "old schoolers" prefer the rare magic concept and tend to stick with that over the default game settings.
As in, earlier editions of d&d presented magical items as being very rare. However, 3.x versions greatly increased the expected amount of magical gear each player would have. And, subsequently, balanced monster cr's according to that power level.
Even a thorp has 1-4 minor magic items for purchase, and that's a community of less than 20 people.
So people who are newer to the game go by the expectations given to them in the rulebook, and are confounded by the carry-over from older editions.
Not quite true, the old schoolers often object to the christmas tree effect, but often the items I and many other groups assigned to the players were more powerful and more unique, even relatively common items like a ring of protection often had odd quirks and effects, like a radius effect that enhanced saving throws (the old ring added to ac and saves).
Now it is like you have to fill every slot and body part with a magic items to have a decent character, which is an odd reversal. Older edition players tend to be more involved with cinematic elements in the game rather, granted it did call for more skilled GMs to balance it out, but once you played such it is hard to go back to a less imaginative system.
Mmm... good point.
I would have to agree with trying to fill every slot and body part. I would say that the driving force, or influencing factor if you prefer, would have to be games with inventories. Whether you're talking about one of the diablo games, everquest, world of warcraft, or older games like The Realm Online or Wyvern, each game resulted in magical gear of one type or another in every inventory slot.
In a way, these types of games train players to fill up equipment slots as quickly as possible.
That is one thing I noticed from games where magical items were rarer. They seemed to be much more powerful than the contemporary versions. What that usually resulted in was the magical sword made the fighter a LOT more powerful than his associates for a long while. It was ok though, because everyone knew that eventually they'd be in the same spot.