The final paragraph however illuminated a serious flaw in the article. When you refer to high levelled players and their ability to grind, positioning on hiscores etc you yourself have circumvented the concept of "fun". If you are only playing for recognition then perhaps you should give up the game and join a sports team instead. Your suggestion is that the higher level players are presenting an insurmountable challenge to new players, but I would query HOW? Zezima was maxed when I joined the game, but I didn't give a rat's arse about that because I was just enjoying the game. Similarly it did not stop hundreds, if not thousands of other players from joining and persisting with the game. If people regard others without 99s as noobs then they ought to go away and take a long, hard look at themselves - skill levels amount to nothing in real life, the people behind each character are much more interesting than that and it is possible to create a great environment just by getting along.
What I got from it is that she's afraid it will snowball. Players today will spend more and more time grinding, while others are grinding even harder just to stay ahead, which forces new players to grind that much harder, and so forth. I don't think she meant it is dissuading people from even joining in the first place, at least that's how I was reading it.
I don't know if today's top players are grinding more, per say. Skills are so much easier to train then they were even when I started playing. Overall though, you'd have to admit that more people seem to be grinding, or power-leveling, their skills. I think there are other factors for this though: faster money-making methods, easier/afkable training methods, faster training methods, Distractions and Diversions, etc. Today, neither gp nor xp carries the same weight that it once did. As a result, more and more people are "grinding" because they see it more manageable.
Ah well you may be right with that, my opinions have been tainted a bit recently by the amount of whining that is being done and I perhaps unfairly dismissed this as more of the same. That said, there is no reason that any individual must grind anything - the concept that we must always strive to be better than someone else on this game is a little flawed to my thinking.
I suspect that the reality, as you yourself said, is closer to the fact that most players now are at the stage where grinding is merely acceptance of the inescapable truth that levels take a very long time to obtain. Thus instead of necessarily picking the most entertaining route to xp, many now take the faster grind and look forward to the extended possibilities those levels will bring. That said, my personal slayer grind that I've been on for the last few months has been altogether a pleasant experience thanks to my clan and other friends, so it is still easily possible to have fun while grinding.
Also a little note, the forum link on the front page takes you to last week's article, might be worth a fix!