Yea, being forced into it for comp just made me hate bossing more tbh, especially when I have friends who still can't get the cape back due to that req. I've started to like bossing a bit due to going for pets, but trying to force people into it is probably not the best solution. I think the RS for of PvP is just too punishing currently for most players, if there was a way to allow people to use their best gear I think it would be more popular. Like maybe requiring you to deposit money before entering (like 50-100k) and on death the pk'er gets a voucher to claim your deposit.
Yeah the risk part is definitely a problem. A LOT of people wear rags (read: bare minimum risk) during warbands, and during wilderness wars as well. Plenty of people only use t90 weaponry alongside Penance and don't bother going back once they die. That's why I like purple portal wars inbetween fc's, because you can take in as much risk as you want without losing anything.
Tbh I prefer the post-eoc pre-legacy wilderness death system, in which that you're automatically in skull status in the wildy (you will lose all items except your +1 with protect item). I dislike the current skulling system, because it doesn't reward people who attack first, assuming you're attacking an un-skulled person.
The fact that you can be effective in rags is a lot of the problem. Make it so that armor isn't simply a formality, and bingo, good pkers are rewarded with actual loot instead of a royal dhide set and a glory. With people using at least barrows gear to defend against most common threats, pkers stand to make at least some decent money (the entire point of dangerous pvp), and it may get some new people into the wilderness that actually want to be there.