I used to think the veterans of my day, many of them my lifelong friends now, were very detached/elite from the rest of the 'peasant' community. Until I got to know them and realized they were just people as well, probably in the same age group too. Some were regular people with outside lives and totally open to being befriended, others were complete pieces of fucking shit- either way undeserving of being placed on any weird online pedestal.
It is the same now, you just have to bother to socialize. And I don't mean adding people and never introducing yourself or starting a conversation ever, you're just setting yourself up to be deleted off friends. Any community needs, well, communication; but its rare to see any kind of interaction outside of the established cliques happening, especially not in mumble anymore with all the passworded channels. Its been a long time since anyone's gotten drunk and crashed a random channel to start a talk cock session at 4am.
In any case, AFL is not perfect- but take it from me its a far better place than it was before. The days where complaints were supressed/ignored and getting any positive change took maybe six months and an army. The days where elitism was far more rampant and you were solely judged/picked on your in-game skill rather than how not-retarded you are- you could get away with anything if you had the eye of the admins in your favour. The days where planning an event involved jumping through hoops after hoops of red tape and angkating so many bolas you have no idea. The days where pugs were total shit- oh wait they still are. Point being, naysayers have always been around (hi oster <3). You can join them or you can lend a hand to those still trying to sail this so-called failboat.