Justin, I think the amount of players who are blaming their lack of progression on lack of playing time is a lot smaller than you think it is, but I am assuming you think it is a great amount or you would not have bothered to post about it. Do you have any real understanding of just how few guilds there are that have made good inroads on heroic content, in relation to the amount of players in WoW? Hell, I think we're still at less than 5% for Garrosh kills on any difficulty, including LFR!
The WoW community is incredibly diverse, and it is foolish, in my opinion, to try to narrow people down into rigidly specific categories, such as hardcore/casual, etc. Our guild is 13/14 Flex, 10/14 Normal. We raid normal 2 nights a week, Flex once a week, mostly for alts now. Are we hardcore by most definitions? No. But my best friend who has played WoW almost as long as I have (2006) considers me hardcore because he doesn't raid except for LFR. He doesn't have the time or the interest to play at that level, but he enjoys the game and is happy where he is.
We don't blame our lack of progress on time or skill, it just is what it is; we aren't concerned about it, at least as far as I can tell. You define fun, progression, and just about anything on your own terms, not someone else's, and you'll usually be happier.