For a while now I've had the idea to start a guild with a theme of Skill>Gear. The two ways in which I intend to prove this concept is to have guild members organized into Challenge Mode teams, and to combine those teams into a heroic raid team with an interesting standard, i.e. a gear cap.
It has long been my firm conviction that clearing any particular raid is designed to be possible using gear from the immediately preceding content, e.g. SoO cleared in gear from ToT, ToT cleared in gear from HoF/ToES, ToES cleared in gear from HoF/MV, HoF cleared in gear from MV/dungeons, and MV cleared in gear from dungeons. Any gear that drops during progression through a particular tier is not necessary towards clearing that tier. It merely "nerfs" the later bosses of that same tier.