Elitism and gear-pinging may be related, but they are not equivalent. If the content is challenging enough that you cannot expect to complete it with sub-par gear and builds, your group is inevitably going to be concerned about your gear and build. The alternative is for the content to be so easy anyone of any gear/skill level can complete it, which means that those who really want to complete a serious end-game challenge probably aren't going to get to. Simply being asked to ping your gear to make sure you are prepared for the content is not a "hell-hole" scenario in my personal opinion.
Whether or not those people are elitist about it is the choice of those people. That's a human nature issue, not a game design issue. Hell, there's already elitism in the game when the dungeons are already so forgiving. Someone who wants to be rude to you will always find an excuse to do so.