The endless arguing on the boards may be fun for some but is generally pointless. Debating whether defenses are too high assumes that the players have the same goals and interests. In reality the playerbase is largely divided into 4 groups.
1. Solo players who just want to do their thing. This is probably the largest group. They spend time on IO sets or other godmode abilities if they want to, and if they don't want to they don't. The pick and choose option works great for them. More options is better because it lets them get what they want.
2. Team players who are just happy to be there. They just play. They consider defeating the villains to be good, and being defeated to be bad. They assume that there is a challenge and do not think about it. They assume they will get a reward and do not think about it. They do not try to game the system. They are blissfully unaware that there are more efficient or effective ways of doing things. Their game play is affected by the godmode power level of other players but they are not aware of it. If they get through a TF faster they think that is great. They are happy in their ignorance.
3. Players who want godmode. These are the farmers as well as others who have the opinion "I'm supposed to be a superhero so defeating everyone should be trivially easy". They revel in power. They cannot have too much power as long as there is the thinnest veneer that this is still a game. Pressing a button to have all enemies die would not be fun, they want to feel like they are beating their foes, but they want it to be easy.
4. Players who want to be as powerful as possible but want to be challenged. This is a tiny portion of the population. They want to design builds and then see how good they are. They do not want to just copy someone else's build and turn on godmode. The fun for them is creating and testing the builds.
5. Team players who want to play the game and be challenged. They want to play with others. They are not interested in making builds. They just want to play the game in a team and be challenged. Taking damage is good. Occasional defeats are good - they mean that there is a real challenge. They differ from #2 in that they are aware of the difficulty. If it is too easy they get bored. I suspect that this is a small group in CoH, because the game is driving them away.
I cannot speak for how solo players play. I have played enough teams to know that at least those who put teams together are rarely interested in a challenge. Radio teams just doing council missions is definitely a thing, and the higher level you get the more likely it is that they only do council missions.
Arguments about "it should be more challenging" or "we should get more influence for X" are just personal opinions masquerading as game design principles.
The playerbase has self selected down to the players who want to be powerful and they want the game to be easy. Or they want to play by themselves.