Flyfishing has its share of "yuppies", but I think the issue is more with attitudes than "yuppie-ness". I started flyfishing in Colorado, and almost gave it up because of the attitude in most fly shops that I went into, out there. It was very elitist and that attitude made it hard for a beginner to ask questions and get started.
I think that this part of the country has much less of the elitism of other areas, but it does exist. However, if we look at it honestly, I think its really a society wide issues ranging across all pursuits, not just flyfishing. You can find it in all sports and hobbies.
I flyfish, not because I think I'm better than spincasters, but because I like the method better. I don't nymph fish all that much for the same reason. Could I catch more and larger fish? Of course. But I like watching a fish rise to inspect a fly more than just the catching part.
As for pricing of equipment, I can see where your friend is going with that point. But they don't have to spend a great deal of money if they don't want to. They could get a completely serviceable setup for less than $200 (including rod, reel, line, flies and some gadgets). The same pricing issue applies to almost everything. Look at cars. You could spend a lot or a little to transport yourself around, it all depends on what you feel comfortable spending, no makes you buy an expensive car...including a 3 series. Of course you shouldn't ask me, I drive a 92 Ford Explorer and my wife drives a Volvo...what do I know.
I'm with Jimmy as well. My brother is a huge redneck, but he lives in Buffalo. I have a few Polo button down shirts, but I bought them on clearance. I hate Starbucks...Of course you shouldn't ask me, I drive a 92 Ford Explorer and my wife drives a Volvo...what do I know...