I think one necessary psychological addition to this is: Playing it like it's a game with rules to exploit for maximum advantage rather than playing it like you're developing a fantasy action story with a framework of rules to support that. I'll admit that there have always been people playing like the former, but it is the point where virtually all RPGs face challenges.
The question for me is - when are you min/maxing, and when are you just playing a reasonable fantasy character?
For example, if a Cleric character notices that his friends need a lot of healing, and he decides to acquire a magical item that grants healing, is that min/maxing? Does it become min/maxing if he starts expending some of his life energy (or whatever XP are) and costly material components to build a supply of such items?
I suppose it is min/maxing that it is always that one specific player character that does all this stuff, and no one else seems to use it. But - logically, if all these elements were in place already, at some point, different ideas would have developed by different people, and eventually we would get that "magic-aware" society that actually uses magic like technology. It may still be very expensive and not available to many in practice, but it would be available to some, and a few of these that can afford it really need a lot of it.
AD&D didn't enable this that easily - the rules didn't suggest the more or less free ability to buy or sell magical items in large settlements, it didn't give a reliable way to craft magical items. If no one really could know how to build a Wand of Cure Light Wound reliable, it can't become a common magic technology.