Any notable gear in GW1 was purely cosmetic. Starting with Factions, you even left the starter island with max stats and level after just a few hours if you chose to. When looking at the most expensive set (obsidian armor), its main components were just a matter of farming currency. Same goes for the cheaper sets.
Time-consuming titles either involved plenty of repetition (vanquisher, explorer, chest-running), currency-farming (drunkard, party-animal) or even remaining /afk (lucky/unlucky). Heroes further trivialized a lot of this content in a way that you were far better off doing it solo rather than grouping up with other players.
Essentially, you had repetition, cosmetics and currency-farming, precisely the same you belittle GW2 about in your post.
That said, there are players like me coming from GW1 who picked GW2 precisely because they do not want a gear-treadmil, they don't want mandatory grinds and so on. Cosmetics are just fine. This has nothing to do with being casual or lazy, it simply means that I'm past caring for MMO's who require me to grind for gear in dungeon x to be able to enter dungeon y to grind gear there again to be able to enter dungeon z to again grind gear... (you get my point).
I play the content cause I like to. If you feel the need to rush through a LS in 20 minutes, obviously you don't. Time to move on and pick another game.