As recently reported, Kharmen EU Talnivarr has reportedly paid 20,000 gold for the Amani War Bear. Kharmen reportedly raised the cash for the enormous land epic ride on her which raised questions about how much gold grinding would trigger a gold farming alert.
The 20,000 price tag seems pretty outrageous considering I'm still puttering along, like many others, on my regular Windriders on all of my 70s. If the Artisan Riding Skill were important to me, I'd make more of an effort to save the 5,000 gold for the mount, but I find it to be low on my priority list. There is no indication that the cost of epic flight will be reduced in the future.
The cost is high, but achievable, especially with daily quests available for easy gold. I've known plenty of players who have been much keener than I am on getting fancy flying mounts. They grind and save for weeks or months, and proudly announce their epic acquisitions. I'm sure there are a lot of other people who take the easy way out by buying the gold to pay for the skill.
Do you believe that the cost of epic flying mounts leads to gold buying?