The implication in the bolded is quite insulting to pros and high achievers and very far off the mark imv. Wanting to excel at an instrument and in performance is not driven by "competition" but is a personal, intuitive desire, a calling if you will. Clearly a certain standard of performance has to be attained, but one has to do that anyway in order to communicate and perform effectively at the higher levels of music and musicianship. In other words, attaining excellence is not driven by competition in the literal sense but is simply the bare minimum requirement to enter the profession or to play music well, simple and especially more complex works. Also, in order to achieve a high standard, the minutia is an all important focus in formative years and stays as such throughout the professional years. You most likely wont survive professionally if the minutia is neglected - it's that important, which is why the details are never neglected, they are the foundation for expression.Hey, think about it. There are people who are groomed from a young age and then play daily many many hours, some of these become pros. Then some hold them up as being the only ones that are 'real' pianists. I don't think music is like that.
Instruments that are less popular like tuba and bassoon require less practice time to become pro, because the benchmark hasn't been set as high. These are artificial bench marks we create basically based on whoever has put in the maximum amount of work, mixed with talent. I think amateur musicians are capable of expressing profundity on their instruments and moving people. The other stuff is just competition. Anyone can become a 'real' pianist. Not anyone can become pro, but I personally don't care about that. I don't feel the need to sacrifice virtually every waking minute of my day to music because someone else with no life decided to, so now they are somehow the only 'real' pianists? I reject that. Music should not enslave people in my view. Does it point the way to something that is profound? Mission accomplished. I think it has gotten to the point that the pros focus too much on minutia, personally.
Don't get me wrong I am grateful for my recordings done by the pros, but I often find unique insights in amateur performance as well. Perhaps once a performer has gotten to a certain level, some qualities can be lost. I believe it was Picasso who spent much of his later years as an artist trying to regain aspects of his craft that were lost from his youth.
The above may be a minority view here, but that is how I see it.
By the way if you also like Bach's WTC, you might like this thread:
Well Tempered Experience
To suggest that those who practise hard and devote much time in order to master music have no life is quite odd. Music can be a great life, a rewarding, fulfilling life. But then again, the general tone of your post is an amateur's perspective and although not wrong as far as you are concerned (it even comes across as a little bitter), is far from the truth of the matter and seemingly shows no real understanding of what drives a musician towards excellence and why. The answer is easy...it's the music.