People seem to be over complicating the question.
The fact is that Sylvari are as close to elves as you can get in GW2 , and as we all know Elves have a rather large fan base.
Just look at WoW for example 26% of the WoW population is elf (Night/Blood) which is 1 in 4. 31% of the Horde are elves (LoL) and 22% of the Alliance are elves.
Personally i've never been a fan of elves but they are without doubt the most popular generic fantasy race.