High end weapons should be powerful, expensive, and rare. Not powerful, cheap, and endless once I put in a few hours.
The lower end weapons are not "terribly optimized". Most "vets" just never practice with them because they never had the need to. With infinite access to low repair cost Basilone LMGs, all-around beast ARs, and no-downside scopes being always available for their rifles.
It's these "vets" that aren't optimized. They've been relying on their superior weaponry to do most of the work for them. Beast weapons like the iron sight SVT have been around the whole time, but most don't even take a second look at it let alone spend enough time with it to understand just how amazing it is.
As a vet, you already have every gun in the game. Your grind for high tier weapons has been over long ago. When there are no more weapons to grind for, it's skills that should be grinded for.
Keep in mind, there will be fewer "high-end" guns on the other side as well. You could cap with an SA or T1 SMG before the token system, and that has only been made easier, not harder with fewer high end weapons (and hopefully scopes, tanks, and planes) around.