That is the question.
Everyone loves getting a fresh shiny new piece of gear. The joy of upping your stats making your toon hit (able to be hit) harder or heal better is very satisfying. But at what point is getting more gear moot for progression in the current content?
This is the issue that the new raid lockout extension has brought about. For example, After Midnight is able to clear Ulduar right through to Yogg-Saron now within 2 raid days should we stay focused and not run anything else such as VoA or ToC to interrupt our timelines. As long as everyone is able to stay on track and we don't have to switch people in an out this is not a problem. However, we still haven't downed Yogg yet, something I attribute to never having the same team of players each night and having to re-teach the encounter constantly. The majority of the guild would like to see the SOB go down, turned on his back floating in his own filth no matter how many times we attempt it.
Here's where the lockout extension comes in; we can now have those multiple attempts past the original lockout to work on Yogg WITHOUT having to re-clear the instance. This means more nights to work on him, more nights to get his health percentage lower and lower and less chance the guild will get rusty as time passes between attempts. Locking out may mean that a progression kill may be had with the little extra time we were able to get but it also means that it is a whole week without new gear drops. Something which excites most guildies who are progression minded and upsets those that lose out on a week to get a potential upgrade.
According to imba.hu our guildies have the necessary stats/gear to down any encounter in Ulduar, and although having best-in-slot everywhere sure adds a slight pack to the punch, we should be able to easily down the Yogg-Saron encounter in our current situation. Yet, some players still argue that if we had more gear we would down it. The complaining from a vocal few (very few) makes me believe that they would rather have those grapey goodness drop like candy from the sky rather than spend the time for the thrill of a first kill.
This leads us back to our first question, what is more important for a raiding guild, encounter progression or gear progression?
In my honest opinion, and according to the goals listed in our guild rules, it is to see the content and conquer it no matter what the stakes. Having a gear level appropriate for the content is key, surpassing it is not necessary. I think the raid lockout is a great way for a guild on the cusp on downing a new boss to have the extra time to do so before a raid week reset. There is so much content in the game now that the guild can be doing to still receive their new upgrades; through the heroic 5 mans and 10 man instances. Badges are acquirable anywhere, from any instance, the heroic dailies now even spew forth the new Emblems of Triumph should you pick up the required quest first.
My advice to players upset with guilds extending raid lockouts for an additional week in the name of progress is the same to anyone who is not happy with their current guild; if the grass is greener elsewhere, no one is going to hold it against you if you go. Think about your priorities in game and find a place that is appropriate to them and stick with it. Most Guild Masters' are happy to accommodate their players as much as they can, but if a player's personal goal or ambition varies greatly from that of the guild's manifesto, it may be time to look for another guild lest your Guild Master asks you first.