And you'll run into item whores in almost any online RPG, sadly. Like Kupi said though, try not to play in Vega, as it WILL slowly become a dark, twisted and corrupt land of spooky doom like Oberon. So far I haven't seen the paranoid schizophrenic nazis or stomach turning symbol animations (although I gotta admit, a few of those were sorta funny), but... it's a MATTER OF TIME. When the keyboards finally roll in, I'm making Anteres my permanent home, like Puck was back on V1/2.
Really, the only real way to avoid item whores is to play only with friends and people you know... and even then, you might have to battle to grab the goods.