The raid finder didn't only allow the so-called unwashed masses to claw their way up into pseudo-raiding. (See that lump in my cheek? That's my tongue.) It also allowed countless tautly stretched raiders to deflate with much relief, tour busing their way through the game's most epic sights and stories and then logging out for the rest of the week to kick back on the couch with a good movie and a homebrew. None of these players suddenly lost the skills and discipline they'd accumulated over years of guild raiding simply by dint of choosing to run the raid finder instead of running with a raid group. Conversely, the players coming into organized raiding via the raid finder are no different from raiders past in their ability to pick up raiding conventions as well as personal and group strategies from repeated exposure to these events.
We seem to be coming to the conclusion that the hardcore game is dead. So who's a raider in today's World of Warcraft? To make a final decision, we'd probably have to come to a consensus on what the purpose of the raid finder actually is. Even so, I'm sure we can agree that someone who runs the raid finder once or twice ever simply to see the sights is probably not considered a WoW raider. But what about someone who runs the raid finder regularly every week? Does that change if participation drops to every other week or less? Is being a raider more a matter of mindset, skill, or performance? Do you think we've simply concluded as a community that even regulars of the raid finder are simply not part of the raiding game? Tell us what the view is from your end of the swimming pool.