Thanks for clarifying your point.I'm not arguing that all the D&D fans and hackers are doing so because they don't know better.
I, obviously, don't have any hard data, but I bet that the vast majority of D&D players enjoy D&D for D&D reasons. Good for them! Good for me, also, because I belong into that group.
But I can't deny that there are people who are constantly and actively trying to make D&D into something else. There weren't so much questions asked and debates had about murderhobos with no personality and how to straighten them out if it wasn't the case.
There are people who want conventionally good "Hollywood" stories, so they employ these weird railroading techniques, fudge dice and whatever, because what D&D produces is war stories, where sometimes people die meaningless deaths and sometimes win without struggle. That is fine by me, but that guy over there that I just made up? He wants arcs and inner conflicts and stuff. So he'll have to work his ass off and fight the rules from time to time to achieve that.
I don't care if it's 5% or 10% or 50% of D&D fans, it is a group large enough to be noticeable.
Sure, there are some people who fall into the category you describe. I think what you describe is just a phase some "hardcore" RPG gamers go through though. Most won't experience this, in the same sense that only a small fraction of gamers frequent these forums. Not all gamers get seriously into RPG design, much like there are far fewer DMs than players. It just so happens that those who delve more deeply into design are also the folks more likely to find their way to a community like ENWorld.
It's essentially experimentation, IMO. Beyond that of making a new feat or monster. Stretching their design muscles and seeing just how far they can push things in making them their own, without having to swim into the dark and unknown waters of designing an RPG from scratch.
Eventually, the person will likely learn the lesson that just because you can doesn't necessarily mean you should. I think that lesson, and the capacity to distinguish the two, is a very important for a designer to internalize.