Not to downplay the legitimate concerns and melencholy in this thread, but I don't think things are completely hopeless. Just like Prospero I bought my power in another era (just a few years later than him, I think), when I was in my early 20s. My collection in today's prices probably exceeds my entire net worth until I was at least 30. The idea of getting into collecting at these prices isn't just unlikely to me, I literally can't even conceive of how I could have done it. So I know that there are 19 year old planeswalkers out there who are watching IamActuallyLvL1 and ChubbyRain (or whoever the modern equivalent of Oscar Tan is), just as excited as I was, but they'll never be able to own a Lotus. And that makes me sad.
But it's also not exactly new.
Everyone has a budget. Some money they're willing to set aside on their hobby, with maybe a little breathing room if they save up for a while. While card prices consistently rise faster than inflation or salaries, the amount of people with hobby budgets bigger than a vintage collection shrinks and shrinks, but there's never been a time where everyone could play. People have loans, families to take care of. A few summers ago I played FNM in Mexico City, and when I told some of them that I mostly liked to play Vintage, they literally didn't believe there was a format where people actually played with Moxes.
Collecting is fun, it's an important part of the hobby for a lot of people, I'm a (recovering) collector myself ... but the hobby and the community is so much bigger than the cardboard. This is where the hope comes in: Most of the world was already priced out of Vintage in 2002 before I started playing, and as I was road-tripping from tournament to tournament in my early 20s, every month another friend of mine would sell off their power to pay rent and never get it back. But they didn't all stop playing, or being part of the community. This problem that some people are experiencing for the first time now? There's people all over the world who have been working at, and enjoying Vintage, despite their inability to afford a Lotus.
In the past two decades there's been an explosion of wotc-liberated magic communities, with Commander likely more popular than all sanctioned magic combined. But (at least on a large scale) Vintage was the first community that realized (amicably) that WotC couldn't give the format the attention it needed. Where sanctioned tournaments, mothership articles and WPN stores fell short, players stepped up.
You don't need to abolish the reserved list to be a part of Vintage, you don't need to legalize CE or print snow duals.
You just need each other.