Titled "Long Road Home - Vanilla to WotLK", this great post by Calian (of Norgannon-A) explores the history of the endgame in WoW, from the days when MC was the only raid and there were no battlegrounds all the way through to the forthcoming patch 2.4 and into Wrath. It focuses on the origin and development of the casual/hardcore divide, which has become one of the hottest topics in WoW discussion today.
You owe it to yourself to read the post, but in short, he comes back to the familiar conclusion that casuals need hardcores to inspire them, and hardcores need casuals to show off to; therefore the animosity between the two groups is very much misplaced, and they are in fact in a mutually beneficial relationship. I'm inclined to agree. What's your take on it?