The way i look at it is; if you're going to go out and spend $60 on an xbox or play station video game you should be willing to spend the same in grepo once every month or so.. Yes there are lots of players who spend way more then that on this game and and also players who spend less. Yes you're correct activity is the most important part of grepo (and teamwork), because if you're not active during that 12 hours that your city was revolted and the wall taken down, you can not gold it back up or gold the troops etc..
Hmmmm... Let's consider a few player traits, and start with spending habits:
Freeloader vs Big spender
Inactive vs Active
Immature vs Mature
Noob vs Veteran
Selfish vs Generous
Traitorous vs Loyal
Mean-spirited vs Compassionate
Stupid vs Clever
Looking at this list... and thinking back over the years and worlds I played... I believe that spending is rather trivial compared to the other traits. A "real good player" to me is the best of many traits.
Without knowing for certain, I imagined that the freeloaders who whine about big spenders are generally those without money or a job... Little kids or deadbeats addicted to gaming and living in mama's basement. I hate what Inno has done to the game for the sake of greed, but I never had much patience for freeloaders who refuse to support the game at all.
I have played with some great zero spenders. They contributed tremendously in many ways. They never whined about gold because they understood it took many different kinds of players together to make a strong winning team.
Regardless of if you like heavy gold buyers or not they are key to the perpetuation of the game, they create revenue for the company so the game can continue or can continue to be free for all, I am not a gold spender, never have been for the 5 years ive played and still managed top 25 in points or ABP regardless if I spent money on the game at all, a real good player like stated above me by big dragons depends on your character traits in game.
I also would like to point out ive never bought gold in the 4 worlds ive played, not that i dont want to just other things are more important an for peeps to complain about the event in edessa manta nukes before BP ends well i had a manta nuke before BP ended ive only 1 city im also ranked 64 in fighters atm its all on how you play yes gold buyers have the upper hand but there is morale an many more things that can be used to give smaller players advantages, i wont complain about gold buyers they help keep the game running ty to all who buy. yea it sucks but sometimes you tough it out an find there are ways to help you stand whether you use them or not is your own choice