This will be the last post on the PLEX issue.
I still think PLEX is unfair. All the arguments for PLEX have sidestepped the basic unfairness issue, and pointed to the good effects that PLEX has. But at it's heart, Eve permits one faction of players to skip content for real money, but does not do the same for other players. It weakens the fidelity of the economic simulation that is Eve Online.
However, as Voltaire said, perfect is the enemy of good.
PLEX has lots of positive effects. It induces liquidity in the markets, causing ISK to be spent instead of hoarded. It decreases the effect of unsafe third party RMT in Eve. It allows the producers to avoid spending money on subscriptions. It allows people who don't like the "work" of producing to concentrate on the fun, and keeps them in the game, and paying subscriptions. It provides excitement for piracy and shipping. Killing an enemy carrying PLEX seems to be one of the great delights of Eve PvP.
On net, PLEX is probably a necessary evil for Eve Online. But it still has a cost, and that cost is the basic unfairness.
To annoy Wilhelm, I will make yet another analogy. PLEX is like the designated hitter rule in baseball, or shootouts in hockey. It's legal, it's in the rule book. It's popular, the crowds enjoy it. It might even be necessary for the continued health of the game. But baseball without the designated hitter is a purer form of baseball, as is hockey sans shootouts.