V8beast, case in point about your gear comments, I knew 2 photographers... one works on Hollywood movie posters and the other taking photos at airports... The airport photographer had to take some pictures of airplanes taking off on runways... He sat on the runway and took pictures of airliners as they charged at him. He didn't shoot 1ds's or medium formats or such, he had this little point and shoot camera so when he got the picture he needed he can run off the runway. The other Hollywood guy took the original photo for the "i am legend" movie poster with Will Smith with a point and shoot as well. Not all pro's shoot with $4000-8000 gear...
I think you're missing the point. Given enough time and patience, and commitment to spending long hours in post processing, I can get the same shot with a 60D as I can with a 1DMKIV. Is it satisfying to get similar results with lesser equipment and chalk it up to superior technique? Absolutely. Unfortunately, time is a commodity that's rarely on your side for a busy pro photographer. As the adage goes, time is money, and if your photography tools enable you to get a job done more quickly and efficiently, you'll be able turn around a greater quantity of work in a shorter duration of time, and pay off the extra premium you paid for nicer equipment. I can see how it might be unimaginable for a hobbyist to spend three times as much for a 1Ds than for a 5DMKII, when the 5D can match the 1Ds in image quality, but working pros are almost always under time constraints. As such, a camera that just works and "doesn't get in your way" is just as important as image quality, and the 1Ds higher FPS and far superior AF just flat out crushes the 5D.
Let's say I'm covering a race and there's a wreck or a pivotal pass that needs to be captured to adequately cover the event. If luck is on your side, you can get away with a slow, portrait/studio oriented camera like a 5D. If you're really lucky, maybe even a point and shoot will work. However, the truth of the matter is that wrecks or passes like that happen in a few brief seconds, and you can't risk missing the shot of something that's only going to happen once. Plus, you're standing next to a half dozen photographers from magazines that compete directly with the magazine you're working for. If you're the only loser that doesn't get the shot, and all the competing magazines have it, you can bet your sweet hiney that your editor will be pissed. He could very well hire another photographer the next time around, so there's just too much at risk by limping around with lesser equipment.
I've been cheap before, whether it's with glass or bodies, but every time I make the plunge and invest in nicer gear, I always ask myself why I didn't do it sooner. That's not to say that novices should go out and spend $20K in gear, only to wonder why their images suck, but their comes a point where you've maximized the potential of your equipment and no amount of practice or improvement in technique will make up for it. Granted it take a LONG time to get to that point, but with enough practice, everyone will get there.
I understand where you are coming from, however, in my experience as a working professional (making 100% of my income due to my photography), there are 4 groups of people who own and use these 1d series cameras in which you call "pro"... 1st... agencies who deal with high price clients and photographers working with said agencies (including newspapers, magazines, etc). These are the creme of the crop photographers... 2nd... people who work freelance for newspapers/magazines/etc who negotiate prices for photographs which easily pays for said camera. These are the photogs not good enough to be hired full time. 3rd... Hobbyists who need to have the latest and greatest, and lastly, those who are incredibly stupid with their money and cant compensate otherwise. There are a lot of "working professionals" that dont fit within those categories that make due with what they have.
I've always been taught to do everything possible to get it "right" in camera so post processing is at a minimal. I am comfortable with post where I dont have to spend long on each photo if I royally screw up, but thankfully those are few and far between. I wont lie and say I want the 7D AF in the new 5D MIII... however I feel the 7D AF is more than capable for 99% of all situations. If I run into that 1% situation, I also, as a pro, have canon CPS to borrow cameras/lenses for when needed. Lastly, I've shot several low light football games, air races, air shows, etc when I had my 30D, 50D's and it was rare I got missed focus. If anything it was too slow shutter than anything else. I feel its commentators such as you that make people feel that it's all about the gear and not about skill. If you got the skill, you should get good photos off of any camera as you would with the $8000 cameras... It's just the $8000 cameras make it that much easier which has taken away some of the skill factor from many good photographers.