Why did ascended gear get introduced? Most people agree that it is to appease the people looking for more vertical progression. Besides the fact that I think a lot of those people aren't exactly appeased at all by ascended gear, here is the problem:
It just won't stop with ascended gear.
Think about it for a second - you simply cannot stop gear progression or you risk losing out on those customers you've pissed everyone else off to keep. So, that means you simply cannot stop adding more and more levels of gear.
Sure, ANet is releasing everything slowly, but at some point, if this game is to continue, there has to be a new level of gear. Let's not forget too that ANet already said that they never rules out increasing the level cap which means that EVERYONE's gear would be obsolete.
So, if you think Ascended Gear is no big deal because you don't need it, just wait. At some point the new levels of gear will be necessary or everyone will be one-shotting everything if the content doesn't increase with the stat increase.
You simply cannot have a gear grind without it actually becoming a gear grind - it is necessary by definition of the term.
That is all.
Please feel free to use this post as a reference when people say that Ascended Gear only gives a modest increase in stats. 12.6% is a huge increase and not the commonly reported 3% to 5% that people tend to use.