Matt goes on to conclude that if you're racing for a world first, you probably wouldn't want to waste your time distributing loot of all things. A fair point, seeing as top guilds often get kills within hours of each other.
I myself have never been in a world top 10 guild, but having been in several competitive US guilds I've seen my fair share of loot council and DKP. Regardless of the system my guild was using, we were always expected to make (and sometimes post) a list of our best-in-slot gear before the start of a tier. For DKP, this was to reduce the amount of surprises in bidding and help us all get an idea of who needed what before we snagged an upgrade. For the more common loot council, this let the council put together a master list to decide who should get what first. But which one was more efficient?
That depended on the guild. I've seen things go wrong in both systems. DKP bidding wars were common and would always suck up time. Worse were the arguments between players when the bid wars got ugly (oddly, it always seemed to be between a warlock and a mage). With loot council there were times when the council would slack off and not prepare their master list ahead of time, and end up taking 10 to 15 minutes to distribute big items like trinkets or weapons. But the worst was being on the loot council. The one time I was on it was in a not so cohesive guild, and I had to deal with a half dozen whispers during and after every raid from players who were unsatisfied with the council's decisions.
Since the start of Mists of Pandaria I've been raiding casually with a group of similarly retired hardcore players. Any guess what kind of loot system we use? We roll on gear, of all things. But we do this because we're all adults and there is a general understanding that everyone in the guild knows what they're doing and want what's best for the raid. Our members don't roll on every possible upgrade that turns up, and often times we'll pass without comment when we know another player is in great need of an upgrade. It's very civil, relaxed, and time efficient.
Honestly, I think all of these systems have the potential to be time efficient if used properly. The most important thing is that the players using them trust in them. Players in a raid using loot council have to believe their loot council is responsible, fair, and objective. Players using DKP or rolling have to trust in their fellow raiders. The size of the raid plays a big part too.
What do you think? What loot system does your guild use, why, and does it work for you?