Having made multiple accounts to lvl 50 and playing up until college apps hit. I don't think it is a p2w situation rather a time value vs money. For example, had I continued playing and farming the various materials daily since I left I would be quite ahead of the curve and be profitting due to the various easy ways to make money at the games highest level such as the 24 man runs etc. But if you're starting now looking for a way to make money through the game it'll seem like a p2w game if you aren't patient.
With the most recent patch they made it much easier and cheaper to get decent gear (removal of the hongmoon upgrade path for weapons and good accessory drops from dungeons). Wasn't really p2w before and its even less now.