I am just emerging from a 40 year stint in a hobby called precision aerobatics or pattern. (hence my screen name) This sport requires you to fly a 2 meter airplane that cannot weigh more than 11 pounds with fuel through a set of maneuvers in front of a panel of judges. This sport has its own set of elitists who think that if you don't have the latest and greatest equipment and plane you are less and looked down on. Thus receiving lower scores. Having to spend $5,000 every two years on new equipment to maintain a competitive edge became more than I wanted to do. I called it chasing the white rabbit. Now my point is, I see some of this attitude here as well. Reference the picture above of the dinosaur pulling the rock baggage car tells me that if you run conventional and three rail tubular track you are less and thought of as living in the past and having inferior equipment. I am starting in this to have some fun and to have a hobby where I can stay at home to enjoy it. Everyone should just do what they like and not represent themselves as better than others because they own $1500 locomotives that do things others cannot do. Everyone should have fun and encourage everyone else to have fun. If you have knowledge that can help us beginners then help us, don't look down on us.
1) Your previous hobby was practiced in a competitive environment and meant to be judged. That some of the judges were prejudiced by moronic values is unfortunate but was part of that environment. While model railroading can be done competitively, it doesn't sound to me like that's what you're getting into if for. Build your layout, operate it how you like, certainly share it with others but, unless your nature is so competitive that it has to be bigger, better, faster, finer (choose your own adjective) than everyone else's, ignore the naysayers and have fun.
2) Forums like these are meant to be places to gather and share information. If you find there's too much "keeping up with the Jones'" or competitive personalities on it, either ignore them or go your own way and choose a different forum.
I'm returning to the hobby after a long hiatus. What's available now is so different from what I had before that I need a little help deciding what to use and how to use it. I can pretty much guarantee you that when I feel I've got what I need I'll be gone and running my trains instead. There's too many people on here that I see posting so much they can't possibly have any time leftover to actually be operating their layouts. I'm also not a "look at me" kind of guy. I'm happy to share some knowledge if I can help ... if ... but I don't really care if someone else likes what I've got. I'm doing it because I like it.
It's kind of like my singing. It's not terrible but I'm not going to be cutting any records soon. Every now and then someone feels obligated to say, "Don't quit your day job." I always respond that I'm not singing to entertain them, I'm doing it to entertain myself ... and succeeding!