Well, A few of us were discussing this very thing a couple of months ago. When we started wheeling as a group we went just about everywhere on 31's (Scout II) and open diffs with sucky gear ratios. Now people want you to be locked front and rear on 36's with at least 75:1 crawl. It's a mindset, a rut people have gotten used to, thinking more is better. Last night I went out with a group, and they thought I'd be dragged along on the extreme trails, because the Zuk only has one locker and 32's. I never got tugged once, and all of them were amazed that I was able to keep up with them. I was also amazed, I must say, because these trails are only run with 36" and larger tires, and the ruts are 36" deep.
The point is, most people don't take the time to learn to "read" a trail, which is needed to overcome any vehicle shortcomings. Doing this allows a near stock vehicle to go the same places as a built vehicle. There are limitations, sure, but most of the times it's true. My most humbling experience was when wheeling with a group of locals. I had the big bad Scrambler, on 33" Swampers, and we were doing a muddy trail with huge ruts. A guy borrowed a CJ-3A with 225 street tires, half bald. That guy could drive, and he went everywhere, but never stayed in any ruts, he almost rolled it in a few places, but knew every limitation of that Willys. I was amazed and to this day will never put down an "inferior" rig. In fact, I think I got towed, and he never did. I wish I had pictures, but there was no such thing as a digital back then.
When someone asks me what mod to make to their rig, I always tell them, "Go drive it". They look at me funny (and a lot of people ask, you wouldn't believe how many) and ask what I'm talking about, so I explain. If you don't KNOW what to do to your rig, then you haven't spent enough time behind the wheel. Once you have spent enough time behind the wheel, you won't have to ask. You'll ask the questions about which lift or lockers to get, sure, but not what to do overall.
A few of the local trails are a lot easier with a locker and large tires, but there is enough around to still make it interesting, and sometimes I just like to be out wheeling, and not beating, so a ride in the country is in order. I do enjoy doing some harder trails though, and some of the ones here just aren't possible without at least one locker, no bones about it. I have also hosted runs, and listened to people complain (behind my back) about how pathetic a trail is, and how they want something harder. Well, if people can't be greatful to be wheeling on an invite, then I stop inviting them, which is what I have done. No sense twisting someone's arm to hear them complain.
A lot of the people I wheel with are locked front and rear on 36's, and they wheel them well, no doubt about it. Every one of them knows why their rig is the way it is, and every one of them built it that way, it's the way things are around here. Occasionally we'll get a newby wheeling, like the one back in May, where he took his lifted TJ out on the trail and commenced to whail on it. It survived, and went a lot of places, but he did some damage. Now I hear he's spending the money on a Klune-V. This is a guy with a family, with no money to spare, and he's trying to build his rig (some of them are running Klune's) to match the others, without knowing why.