And to get back on topic . . . my perception has been that the change in stamina cost has been of great benefit to all of the people in the middle. It is some help to the people on the lower end, but since people who don't pay or pay very little had few raid tickets to begin with, they are possibly hurt the most by the changes in ratio of stamina to tickets.
Take a friend of mine who is VIP 2. She gets 30 tickets per day. This used to be enough to get through most or all of her stamina for the day, using 2 refreshes. (240+240+180=660; assuming you get a ticket back once every 3 raids, 660-(16*40)=20. So if she used all her stamina on elite levels she'd get through basically everything.)
I don't personally know anyone at the top who is out of raid tickets, but I could see how it could happen. Personally, I've still got 'em coming out my ears, but at a much slower rate - and I LOVE the changes to stamina costs (both in campaign and for refreshes).