Quick life story here. One day I just decided I wanted to play vintage. I had a good job and a deep legacy collection so I thought I would make the effort and try to get back some of the cards I had when I was a kid. I started looking at lists and found Dark times, which was basically mono black with a jet and that was about it. You could play lotus but some lists did not. So I traded some stuff, store credit for some more, and bought a Mox Jet.
From that point on I started building out my collection. Eventually that dark times deck moved me into wanting to try Dredge, and I got 4 bazaars (when they were about $250 each) once again by trading standard, modern, and legacy stuff I was not going to use into store credit and trades. I played that list for a long time, and then finally I decided I would collect power. My Bazaars went towards some moxen, I got a good trade at Gencon for a timewalk from a vendor, and finally I managed to trade in something like $1500 to cardkingdom for a reasonable condition lotus.
I was basically able to collect my vintage staples without directly spending a dime, by carefully saving my cards that I was getting via limited, speculating on stuff that would go up and trading into it, and spending the time. For what it's worth most of my vintage collection today was only available to me because I bought 100 copies of Deathrite shaman at 2 dollars store credit each which then sold at 18, and 200 copies of collective brutality at less than a dollar store credit which I think went for damn near 25. I was smart and lucky, but I don't think you have to be to have a similar story to me.
Point is, the quest to actually get these cards was part of the game to me, and quite frankly I think of it as being more fun and challenging than a lot of the rounds of magic I have played in my life. If scarcity was not part of the inherent design of the game, cards would not have rarity, and if owning the cards was not important people would not buy and sell them at the rates they do. During the period of time where I was collecting my power I never once said to myself, I wish I could proxy some crap I don't own at a tourney. I just played a different list or played a different format.
I am basically making the argument here that I view ownership of the game pieces as a critical part of the game itself, or at least the meta game around the game, and I do not think you can separate the two. I would go as far as saying that owning the cards will make you not only have more respect for them, but opponents and spectators alike will have more respect for you, and I think that is important to the life of the format itself.