I'm actually, somewhat on board with you, based on this weekend. I flew to NC, have to go on to FLA for work, didn't bring clubs. My friend and I played anyway. He has a box set of Wilson's, true starter set, the $129 shipped with a bag variety. I wasn't going to risk breaking his driver, so I used the cheapo steel shafted hybrid from the tee and seemingly for about everything. I didn't miss a fairway the whole day with that thing, just a sweet tight draw, depending on how I got it flighted, anywhere from 220- 245 off the tee. I took on a 575 yard dog leg left and hit the first one high so it got no roll, proceeded to hit a bullet that almost rolled on in two.. had a short birdie putt. I don't want to elaborate on the score for said hole, but the potential was there!
From there, I did drop a bird on one hole and lipped another putt for one. I realized, I could honestly take a $129 set, add a SW, and go shoot as well if not better than with my bag, where my bag alone is worth more than those clubs.
The clubs don't make the player, though some help to cover our flaws a bit better. So it is what it is, marketing Kool-aid. If you are a reasonable ball striker, you will shoot right around the same thing with any set of clubs you are reasonably fit to. I know personally, I get caught up in the hype if I'm looking at numbers side by side, but it's easy if you were to drop me on a course and ask me for $400 to have the ball 9 feet closer to the green after my tee shot etc.
Funny enough, my real take away from that round was I don't need more clubs, I need to use my brain more and I'd be able to score.