For sure, and that’s really something I think that has come with the Internet and social media over the past decade or so especially. Like so many other social niches created by this medium, it’s one where people can project an image and achieve some kind of status.
But it’s not so much a matter of deserving a level of gear because of your skill but just "do you even play??" It doesn’t effect me either way I guess but when you see guys who spend a lot of time posting about their expensive gear hoard but seem to be primarily motivated by the buying and selling and not playing it boggles the mind a bit. I got obsessed with tone and shit because I love to play guitar. If I didn't, I'd be doing something else and certainly not spending the cash on gear.
It’s kinda funny too. The ones that haven’t developed a musical ear of their own to then know what they Like and don’t like end up going by what sounds good based solely on what others are say on a forum with little knowledge as to whether what is being said is trustworthy.