I think if you aren't collecting by your own standards and for your own reasons then you're doing it for the wrong reasons. I can well imagine the guy who claims one collector isn't a "real collector" for any reason is also doing it for the wrong reasons and should probably check his/her ego, attitude etc at the door.
It's an interesting point though and I'd been thinking something along these lines recently too. When I got back into collecting vintage a few years back my plan was to improve upon and finish off my loose collection that had been stored away for several years. Not long after when the passion for collecting had been properly reignited, and the loose collection was nearing completion, I started looking at other avenues.
I'd told myself that I wasn't going to start down the MOC route as the prices for a lot of them were so much higher than I remember them being a decade or so earlier. That didn't last long and after I picked up a gateway MOC, a Klaatu, I was off. So then I told myself I'd just do a run of one of every figure on a movie appropriate Kenner card.
Probably halfway through that, when many of the holes left would need to be filled with ~£300+ per MOC examples (for those in better than average condition), I started to ask myself my reasons for collecting that particular run and did I really want to spend that kind of money just to have that set. Sure, I could afford to do it over time, but it didn't truly represent the areas that evoked the most nostalgia for cardbacks and types, ie Trilogo, Kenner etc. I hadn't been interested in anything other than Kenner cards until then as I wanted uniformity to the run.
But then it occurred to me that the later Jedi stuff, the last waves of carded figures in Trilogo, Palitoy and Kenner cards, the stuff I remember seeing on clearance and at markets in the late 80s really strikes the biggest chord with me. And to be quite honest I've always thought the figures from Jedi were the best in terms of accuracy, detail etc. And, yes, I have the most fondness for the Jedi line as it's what I had the most of as a kid and I'm pretty sure it was the first of the films I saw of the trilogy, having been born right at the tail end of the trilogy's release.
So in other words, I changed my collecting habits to not only reflect the area that I have the most nostalgia for, but also to not concern myself with what some might consider to be a "complete" and "correct" collection. So what if my MOC collection has none of the first 12 or 21 figures on debut cardbacks. I have a bunch of MOC variants of my favourite Jedi figures and growing couple of focuses in areas that I feel most passionately about. And it also has the bonus of meaning it's easier to avoid any of the dick comparing, "AFA gold" congratulating Facebook limelighting that seems to prevalent these days.
Much like most things in life I like what we aren't all the same in our collecting habits. Cause it makes for a more interesting hobby and it means I can collect Ewok variants without too much competition.
Any collector who talks down to another collector who chooses not to collect certain high end items, or is on a budget, is a fucking dick and can go do one.
*steps off soapbox