I'm going to make my own little statement inspired by this....
...which was in turn inspired by this...
I haven't attended one of the GW GTs, but I have played in a few of the Indy GTs as well as a pile of RTT and other tournaments and events.
Honestly, part of the reason I enjoy going is the spectacle of the game. It's as much a part of the hobby as pushing figures and rolling dice. That's what makes miniatures gaming different from other types of wargames. I look forward to seeing the great tables many of these events build, and the armies people have modeled and painted as much as I enjoy the challenge of facing new opponents and the opportunity to meet new players.
When I started playing, my friends and I obviously started with unpainted figures. Actually, some of us moved into it from cardboard counter games. But we started with small armies and painted the figures as best and quickly as we could, and then moved into larger games as we painted more figures. Inevitably some of us would add in new units, most of the time waiting until they were painted. Once in a while impatience would win out and we would field something unpainted, but that usually only lasted a game or two.
New players were cut some slack and given a chance to play before finishing their armies. Figures were usually available for loan from other players as well. But again, there was a bit of an unspoken rule that you got your figures painted. I don't even remember any discussion on this. It was just part of the game/hobby.
But as I've gotten older and some of the games have become more popular, I've noticed an increasing number of not just unpainted figure, but armies that never get painted at all. Some even included unassembled multi-piece kits. Yes, I saw people playing with a bunch of metal pieces piled on bases, and watched them scoop up all the pieces that fell off their pile of "soldiers" every time they moved them.
I think it's sad and really dims the appeal of the hobby.
To me, it is also another aspect of the increased focus on the competetive aspect of the hobby above all else, which has been overshadowing other aspects of wargaming as well.
I don't expect everyone to paint to the same standards. I don't expect everything to look like it came out of a magazine or professional painting studio. But at least give it a try.
I don't expect new players to have everything painted overnight. But once again, at least try to make some progress.
Sometimes I miss my old hobby of wargaming.